x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Walden walks away with inaugural title

The historic 6-red Snooker International came to an end when world No 21 Stuart Bingham threw in the towel to the world No 35 Ricky Walden.

Ricky Walden of England won the 15-frame final 8-3 against Stuart Bingham.
Ricky Walden of England won the 15-frame final 8-3 against Stuart Bingham.

BANKGOK // The historic SangSom 6-red Snooker International came to an end when world No 21 Stuart Bingham threw in the towel to concede his title showdown with compatriot and world No 35 Ricky Walden 8-3 at the Montien Riverside Hotel yesterday.

Walden, who had been impressive throughout the inaugural event, walked away with the winner's purse of 500,000 baht (Dh54,577). Bingham, the 1996 world amateur champion, was rewarded with a cash prize of 250,000 baht for his brilliant effort in the tournament. Saleh Mohammed of Pakistan added 67,500 baht to his earlier haul of almost 70,000 baht as his maximum 75-point break recorded in the first round in just two minutes and 54 seconds proved to be the fastest of the tournament.

Walden, who had dashed the local hopes of seeing their own hero James Wattana featuring in the final with a 7-6 victory over the Thai in the semi-finals on Saturday night, was in a fine touch from the start of the match. Bingham, who entered the final after beating Michael Holt (world No 34) of England in his semi-final, had his chances during the course of the 15 frames only to miss crucial pots time and time again.

Walden, capitalising on the misery of his rival, held the upper hand throughout the final, which was witnessed by an overflowing crowd at the riverside venue. And when Walden, already 7-3 up, was in the process of gunning for the final black, Bingham threw in his towel, which landed plumb on the blue ball spot, to signal an end to his campaign. The tournament, the first of its kind, had been a major success from many counts.

SangSom, the title sponsors, have already confirmed that they would to like to sponsor the event for three more years offering a much bigger purse. A total of 48 players, including 17 Main Tour professionals, from around the world took part in the tournament, which offered a total prize money is in the excess of 1.8 million baht. The big names included reigning world No4 Mark Selby and former world professional champions Peter Ebdon and Ken Doherty.

For the first time in history, top officials of the World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association, International Billiards & Snooker Federation and all regional bodies all gathered on one platform in Bangkok to attend the tournament. @Email:sports@thenational.ae