PTC3: Woollaston Wins Maiden Title

Congratulations to Leicester’s Ben Woollaston who has tonight defeated Scotland’s Graeme Dott 4-2 to win the PTC3 event, his first professional title. Click below for a full report on that and all of the day’s action…

It has been a while coming for Ben Woollaston but today it all came together as he won his first professional title with a fantastic 4-2 win against former world champion Graeme Dott this evening.

For a while however it looked as though it might not be Ben’s evening as having taken the opening frame, then then lost the second despite having at one stage left Graeme needing a snooker on the final red. As you would have expected, Graeme did not give up and having forced three fouls with a masterclass in playing for snookers, he cleared the table to level at 1-1 before adding frame three to lead 2-1.

Having already seen off Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and this morning John Higgins, at this point Graeme looked to be a worthy favourite but remarkably the match was to turn again as Ben won the next two to lead 3-2. The first real chance in frame six then fell to the man from Leicester and he looked like he might just take it in one visit before a miss on the penultimate red with just that and a colour required gave Graeme a lifeline.

It was not to be the Scot’s day however as a poor safety let Ben in to clear to the brown before he eventually potted the blue to seal the victory and bag the £10,000 top prize and 2,000 ranking points.

While I strive to be as independent as I can for a fan based blog, I have to say that I am delighted to see Ben win this event as he is one of the players on the  circuit that I have got to know quite well during the last couple of years and it is great to see him win his first tournament in this manner. Moving up from 64th at the start of the week to 57th now, Ben has done his chances of moving up into the top 64 at the October seedings cut-off point the power of good and is now also well-placed to finish inside the top 24 on the PTC Order of Merit and qualify for the Grand Finals.

Nothing against Graeme however who is another player that I like and who despite defeat has had another excellent week, defeating a string of top players en route to the final and consolidating his position inside the world’s top 10 in the process.

Looking back at the results from earlier in the day, eventual winner Woollaston set the tone for his day with an impressive 4-0 victory against Ken Doherty while an out of sorts John Higgins was sent crashing out by finalist Dott having made a high break of just 40. There were mixed fortunes for the four Scottish players through to the last 16 in fact as Alan McManus, Anthony McGill, Marcus Campbell and Dott progressed while Higgins and Stephen Maguire exited, the latter to Stephen Lee.

On Friday Lee had in fact been arguably the form player but his run was to come to an end at the quarter-final stage today as McGill confirmed his return to form with a tremendous 4-2 victory. Barry Hawkins too got an impressive 4-0 win on the board against Marcus Campbell having made a slow start to the new season while at one stage it looked as though Alan McManus might progress to the last four before Woollaston recovered from 2-0 down to win 4-3.

Both semi-finals proved to be rather one-sided as Woollaston whitewashed Anthony McGill while Dott recorded a comfortable 4-1 victory against Barry Hawkins.

Overall though it has been another good event which saw more than its fair share of shock results and eventually a surprise, but deserved winner.

Next stop – Furth!