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A View To Thrill - Nigel Bond Wins Snooker Shoot-Out

A View To Thrill - Nigel Bond Wins Snooker Shoot-Out

The World Number 37 and former British Open champion Nigel Bond has beaten Robert Milkins in the final of the CaesarsCasino.com Snooker Shoot-Out 2011.

 

Nigel Bond wins Snooker Shoot-Out 2011

 

Veteran Bond won his first televised tournament in 14 years by beating Milkins 58-24 in the one-frame knockout event at the Circus Arena in Blackpool.

 

The three-day event featured the world's top 64 players and an innovative format with a shot clock and frames lasting a maximum of ten minutes. And it provided plenty of gripping drama with several frames decided in the dying seconds.

Derbyshire's Bond, age 45 and ranked 37th in the world, eventually took the £32,000 top prize and won his first title since the 1997 Scottish Masters.

He built a 20-2 lead in the final, then capitalised on a loose safety from Gloucester's Milkins to pot a long red and compile a calm break of 38, which proved decisive.

"It's amazing to be a champion again after all these years," said the player who lost to Stephen Hendry in the 1995 World Championship final and beat John Higgins to win the British Open the following year. "This event is not for the feint-hearted, but I proved I can still pot the balls under pressure when it matters.

"With the shot clock you've got no time to think, you just go for the first ball you see and knock it in the hole. It stops you thinking about what can go wrong. It's been a fantastic event, a great atmosphere with full crowds every day."

 

It's one of a range of new tournaments introduced by World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn this season, and Bond is optimistic about the future of the sport.

"If anyone can turn it around, Barry will," he added. "Only time will tell, but best of luck to him. This tournament has been brilliant for me, it's helped to get more of a buzz about the game and it's good to have snooker back on Sky television.

"We've got another new event next week in Berlin, the German Masters, and I'm looking forward to that because they've sold thousands of tickets and hopefully it will be a similar atmosphere."

Ronnie O'Sullivan made two of the four centuries scored during the event, including the top break of 123. The Rocket reached the semi-finals before being stopped by World No 36 Milkins, while Bond beat Marcus Campbell in the other semi.

 

Article and photo courtesy of World Snooker

 

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Overall I think it has been a great tournament. As Clive Everton said at the end of the final between Bond and Milkins "The true winner today is Snooker". The format has turned out to be a success and many matches such as the one between Drago/McLeod and Robertson/McManus will be remembered for a long time to come.

It still could use a few tweaks of course, a few people complained about the rowdy crowds, the voice-over man and the walk-on girls, but I think they just added to the uniqueness of the event. My personal gripes with the tournament was them repeating the same 3-4 songs for the players walk-on's (surely they must of had more?) and the Sky Sports MC often got players names wrong, or facts wrong (he even thought Joe Perry was Joe Swail when he was standing right next to them!). Barry Hearn has got a good thing going here, if this doesn't come back next year, or even in the next couple of months they are missing a trick.

The world of Snooker turns it's attention to another new Hearn event, the full-ranking tournament; The German Masters. It will be broadcast in it's entirety on Eurosport from the 2nd of February and it features the ranking event debut's of Anthony McGill, Jack Lisowski, Lasse Munstermann and Luca Brecel, cant wait!

 

Once again, well done and congratulations to 007 himself, Bond, Nigel Bond!

Nigel Bond

Posted Jan 30, 2011   
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