Ton up club

I have just been browsing Chris Turner’s excellent stats site and noticed that Ali Carter is on the verge of becoming the 30th player to make a century of century breaks in professional competition. With a few other professionals not too far behind however, who else will reach that milestone this season?

To view the list of players approaching the 100 mark (as well as those already there), please click here.

On 98 apiece, both Ali Carter and Tony Drago lead the way, though with Tony already out of the Shanghai Masters, it is Ali who will have the next chance to get the two he needs out at the venue stage. Drago will most likely be playing in the second of the Pro Challenge events at the end of this month, but I am unsure as to whether tons from this series are included in the official tally and in any case, this particular event will be contested with only 6-reds on the table anyway.

If Ali were to suffer an early exit in China however, who else could step in with a good week in the competition? Both Barry Pinches and Ian McCulloch who are next on the list have already lost in the qualifying rounds but Australia’s world number nine Neil Robertson has an outside chance, needing seven 100+ breaks to reach the century. While unlikely to do it out in Shanghai, it is safe to assume that he will get there sooner rather than later this season.

Looking further down the table it does surprise me slightly to see that Graeme Dott has made ‘only’ 88 centuries since turning professional back in 1994. While not a hugely prolific scorer (he did not make a ton during the World Championship final in 2006 after all), I would have thought that he would be closer to some of the players a bit further up the list somehow. One thing that the success of players such as himself, Dominic Dale and Nigel Bond goes to show is that there is much more to snooker than just big breaks. Just look at Anthony Hamilton up on 191 but with no ranking event titles to his name.

So will Ali do it? Quite possibly, though in my tournament preview I did tip him to possibly be an early casualty so I would not be too surprised to see him falter. In any case it is not the most pressing thing, in fact I am sure he would be delighted to win the title without making any century breaks! Still, it is something extra to keep an eye on nonetheless…