Shoot Out 2012: Hawkins Takes The Title

Congratulations to Barry Hawkins who has tonight has defeated Graeme Dott 61-23 to capture his first televised title and the £32,000 top prize at the 2012 Snooker Shoot Out…

Through to the final with wins against Dave Harold, Mark Davis and Stephen Maguire earlier in the day, Barry Hawkins found himself up against former world champion Graeme Dott who had himself overcome Tom Ford, Dominic Dale and 2011 finalist Robert Milkins previously.

The first chance fell to Barry following a missed red from Graeme and it proved to be an important visit as with the black tied up, he made good use of the blue to open up a 46 point lead. A missed red with the rest at this stage gave Dott the chance that he wanted, but he soon found himself with nothing on but a tricky red to right-centre and as it caught the near-jaw his chance was gone.

He was to find himself back in the balls with seconds to spare but despite a great plant it always looked like a long shot and Barry soon sealed victory with a fluke.

A professional of over 15 years, this victory gives Barry surely his biggest payday to date and is one that eclipses his previous pro titles at the Masters qualifying event in 2007 and Pro Challenge Series Event Five in 2010. As is evident from the numerous messages of congratulations from his peers on Twitter, the victory is a popular one and one that is thoroughly deserved.

Earlier in the day, the most exciting match was that between Barry Pinches and Liang Wenbo which saw the man from Norwich steal it with moments to spare as he potted red and blue to take the match 43-41. Barry was though to fall at the quarter-final to Sight Right stablemate Tom Ford.

In terms of quality however, Martin Gould’s performance against Jamie Jones was the stand-out as he recorded a stunning total clearance of 135 to progress into the next round, only to be thwarted by Stoke’s Dave Harold.

Aside from the action on the table, there was also to be some debate on Twitter amongst fans and players alike as to the success of the tournament, Mark Williams and Mark Allen notably criticising the tournament.

For what it’s worth, I think that the event is a good addition to the calendar, good fun and an opportunity to see the world’s top 64 on Sky Sports which is good exposure for them and for the game as a whole. Is it as good as traditional snooker or something that is going to revolutionise the game? No, but nobody is saying that it is (except perhaps for Sky, though I respect the fact that they have a product to sell). Personally I am no fan of shot clocks, rowdy crowds and ball-in-hand at all, but in a three day, non-ranking event then I do not see the harm.

Anyway, the snooker circus marches on with the start of the German Masters on Wednesday, as well as the Snookerbacker Classic tomorrow, a great initiative from my fellow blogger to try and give amateurs a helping hand onto the main tour for 2012/13. Good look to SB and all involved in that one.