Name: Ian Burns
DOB: 11th March 1985
Turned Pro: 2012
Highest Ranking: 64th (March 2014)
Highest Break: 136 (2012 Antwerp Open, 2015 German Masters)
Career Highlights: 2014 International Championship last 16, 2013 Haikou World Open last 32, 2013 Australian Goldfields Open last 32, 2013 ET5 quarter-finals, 2012 ET5 quarter-finals, 2012 UK Championship last 48, 2012 Q School qualifier
Having taken up snooker at the age of 11, Ian Burns was a fast learner, a break of 105 coming by the time he was 12, before he gave up work to become a full-time professional at the age of 22.
Competing as an amateur, Ian was a regular at the PIOS competition, finishing 24th in 2009/10, before he then narrowly missed out at the inaugural Q School in 2011, winning eight matches during the three events without being able to qualify.
A year on however and Ian was to make it at the first attempt, wins against Adrian Gunnell, Nick Dyson and Daniel Wells seeing him into a final round clash with the experienced Rod Lawler, which he would eventually win 4-3. Having seen his opponent win two frames to force a decider and then open with a break of 43, the pressure was firmly on Ian’s shoulders, but he responded in fine style with a match-winning break of 73 to earn a two-year tour card.
Ian told the Lancashire Evening Post upon turning pro:
“I’ve not really thought about what my aims are too much,”
“My main aim is staying on the Tour.”
“I’m on for the next two years, but I’m not going to aim too high.”
“I will try to get to last 16 or 32 of a few tournaments and try and qualify for one of the bigger venues.”
“Obviously, my dream is to qualify for the World championships and play at the Crucible.”
“That would be absolutely fantastic, but that’s a year off. It’s a long way down the line.”
Following an opening round defeat to Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon at the Wuxi Classic qualifiers, Ian was to enjoy a strong start to his professional career, consistently winning matches in the early rounds as he acclimatised to life on the tour.
His best results during 2012 came as the year approached its end, beginning with a run to the final qualifying round of the UK Championship qualifiers, where he lost out 6-2 to two-time ranking event winner Dominic Dale.
A quarter-final run at the ET5 event in Ravenscraig was to follow, where he lost out to eventual winner Ding Junhui, before he then defeated James Wattana, Ben Woollaston and Fergal O’Brien in the final event of the year to successfully qualify for his first venue, the 2013 Haikou World Open.
Ian’s form in 2013 was to remain consistent, a third qualifying round appearance at the China Open qualifiers in January, preceding a 4-1 victory against Jack Lisowski at the Welsh Open qualifiers.
Although his season was to end with a heavy second round defeat to Yu Delu at the World Championship qualifiers, his performances over the course of the season had been enough for him to earn the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award at the 2013 World Snooker Awards at the end of the campaign.
Ian’s strongest performance of the 2013/14 season at a full-ranking event was to come at the Australian Goldfields Open, as he won three matches to qualify for the venue stage in Bendigo, before losing out to Mark Selby in a deciding frame.
Thereafter his season was to prove solid, if not spectacular, meaning that he would finish the campaign ranked outside of the world’s top 64 on the new money based rankings.
Thanks to his consistent performances during the season’s European Tour events however, his strongest run coming at the ET6 event in Gloucester where he was able to make it to the quarter-finals, Ian was able to secure a fresh two-year tour card to retain his professional place for the 2014/15 season.
Ian was to break new ground at the 2014 International Championship as he defeated Jack Lisowski, Dominic Dale and Craig Steadman to reach the last 16 of a full-ranking event for the first time in his career, before losing to Welshman Michael White.
He was though to struggle after the turn of the year, failing to win a single match as he finished with a ranking of 89.