Williams Captures PTC Title

Ok it’s not quite the World Championship but still…

Congratulations to world number eight Mark Williams who has tonight taken the first Players Tour Championship event of the season with a quickfire demolition of Stephen Maguire.

EDIT: I’ve noticed a few errors this morning with the rankings that I have done last night – I will correct these this evening when I get back from work. Apologies for any confusion caused!

Mark Williams 4-0 Stephen Maguire

75(75)-0, 69(64)-0, 67(59)-54(35), 106(82)-16

Both Mark and Stephen have had their moments en route to the final, indeed there were three deciding frame victories between them en route to the final so on paper their best of seven frame match looked to have all the makings of a close one.

In fact however that could not have been less the case as Mark reeled off the required four frames in little over 40 minutes, restricting Stephen to just 70 points as the Welshman won his second tournament in three outings following his China Open success back in April. Mark is quoted over at World Snooker as saying:

“Overall I played well, I was solid,”

“I had a bit of luck in the quarter-finals, I was 3-1 down to Barry Pinches and he was on a break, I thought the match was over. Then he accidentally feathered the white, so I got back in and ended up winning 4-3. In the final, Stephen missed a few balls and I made four good breaks.

“These events are excellent, I was only there for two days and I’m going home with some money and ranking points. There are 12 events and even if you only won one match in each you’d pick a lot of points up. They’re also great match practice for the main ranking events.”

As Mark says he does indeed pick up a decent amount of ranking points, 2,000 in fact and on my newly updated list here you can see that this has helped him to put some distance between himself and ninth placed Mark Allen, whilst also bringing him closer to the other players inside the top eight.

As you will see from the table, it is not quite complete yet towards the bottom of the list as the situation is not quite clear yet with regard to the the players new to the tour this season, as well as those new to the tour for 2009/10. That said, the top 50 or so should be fairly accurate and a good indication of how the situation currently stands early in the season.

Notable winners there in comparison to the current official list are Matthew Stevens, Joe Swail, Nigel Bond, Mark Davis, Stephen Hendry, Barry Pinches and Shaun Murphy, all of whom suffered poor starts to 2008/9 and so have little to defend in comparison to those around them. Neil Robertson is another who falls into this category as despite finishing last season nearly 10,000 points behind John Higgins, now trails by just over 1,000 as he had little to lose from the early part of 2008/9 while John loses the points that he earned from winning the Grand Prix title that season.

As well as John, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Dave Harold (down 19 places from 31st to 50th), Ricky Walden (down seven places), Steve Davis and Trump, all of whom started that season in fine form, have the most work to do between now and October. With a further seven counting events before the next revision however (more than the total events last season!), these players have got time on their side to win back some points between now and then.

I shall update the PTC Order of Merit at some point this week.