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2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open
 Posted on Thursday, July 21 2011 @ 12:00:00 UTCby admin
Snooker 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open
Bendigo Stadium
134 Marong Rd
Bendigo
Victoria
Australia
www.eurosport.com
www.worldsnooker.com
www.schweppescentre.com.au

18-24 July 2011


BINGHAM SHOWS HIS BOTTLE TO WIN HIS FIRST TITLE

Stuart Bingham has won his first ever ranking tournament as he clinched a dramatic 9-8 victory over Mark Williams in the final of the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open.

World number one Williams looked set to win the 19th ranking event of his career as he led 7-4 and 8-5 but Bingham made a stunning recovery to win the last four frames and take the title.

"This is without doubt the best week of my life - it's just an unbelievable feeling," said 35-year-old Bingham, a professional player for 16 years who has experienced the lows and now the highs of snooker.

"This proves the depth in the standard of snooker and shows anyone on the tour can win a tournament if they knuckle down and put the hard work in, that's all I've done.

"It will help all professional players and I've always said you only get out of the game what you put into it.

"I've doubted myself before and when I lost ten matches on the trot my confidence was at an all-time low and you hope and wonder where the next win is coming from."

He had only reached the quarter-finals of ranking events before and had received criticism over a perceived lack of 'bottle' in close matches when under pressure.

That boiled over this week in a bitter public spat with Mark Allen before and after their clash in the last eight, which Bingham, the current world number 15, won.

But the man from Basildon , who was once ranked 76th out of 90 players, believed this victory was the perfect answer to any critics.

"I don't need to say any more. I just have a nice trophy to prove it and $60,000 in the bank," added Bingham. "I don't care what anyone says. I have this for the rest of my life and no one can take this title away from me.

"Now the hard work comes as I have to live up to being a ranking event winner and now I'm the hunted instead of the hunter.

"I've been knocking on the door but now the door is open and I've walked through it and grabbed the trophy with both hands."



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Bingham beat Ding Junhui, Tom Ford, Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy to get to the final and made a sensational start with a break of 139 in the opener and a 3-1 lead at the first break.

But Williams made breaks of 89, 85, 57, 84, 52, 52, 71 and 68 as he closed in on victory in front of a capacity crowd at the Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo , Victoria .

The turning point came as Williams led 8-5 but Bingham got fortunate with an escape from a snooker that left the Welshman in trouble.

"I went 3-1 up but something happened and I switched off," said Bingham "My potting percentage went down to 20 per cent but I was getting chances every frame.

"Mark being such a good player cleared up and took the game. My body language was all over the place and I was slumped in my chair just disappointed.

"At 8-5 he had me in all sorts of trouble but the match changed when he snookered me and I got out of it and snookered him - I had hit it and hoped.

"My body language changed and I thought 'this is your chance'.

"At 8-8 coming out to the table and the crowd's reaction gave me goose pimples and I was shaking. I had made a game of it and the momentum was with me. I played a double and if I'd missed that I would've lost 9-8."

Williams admitted he was shocked to have lost the final. He said: "At 8-5 I was cruising and had him in all sorts of trouble. He managed to get out of a snooker and won it from then on.

"Every little flick went his way and there's nothing you can do about that. I had him perfectly at 8-5 but from then on he played well and deserved to win.

"The tournament has been a fantastic success as far as I'm concerned and I think we will be here for many years."


WILLIAMS MEETS BINGHAM IN AUSTRALIA FINAL


Mark Williams will meet Stuart Bingham in the final of the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open.

Both players won their semi-finals by 6-2 scorelines over Ken Doherty and Shaun Murphy respectively at the Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo , Victoria.

World number one Williams will be aiming to collect the 19th ranking title of his career, while Bingham will be playing in his first ranking final.

After a 16-year career as a professional, Bingham has experienced the highs and lows of snooker, but believes this moment has made all the effort worthwhile.

"All the hard work and dedication has finally paid off," said an emotional Bingham.

"This has to be the best achievement for me. It's something I've wanted to do all of my life and I just hope I play well in the final.

"I beat Stephen Hendry in the World Championships (in 2000) and thought I had made it but a few things happened off the table.

"At one stage I nearly dropped off the tour and I lost ten matches on the trot. I was about 76th in the rankings when there were only 90 players.

"I turned professional in 1995 and it's everyone's dream to become World Champion and world number one. But as the years went on you start doubting yourself.

"It's nice to put that Hendry result to rest. People will talk about my final here and not just about beating Stephen Hendry.

"It's going to be tough but the toughest thing is controlling my emotions.”

Williams hit two centuries in his victory over Doherty, who was playing in his first semi-final for five years.

Welshman Williams has now made five century breaks in the tournament - more than any other player and one more than Bingham.

"It was a tough game and Ken didn't miss a lot," said Williams. "It's just nice to see him back playing and getting to the latter stages. This could be the springboard he needs to get back up the rankings.

"After the first match I've played quite well and the tables have been excellent and the crowd excellent. I'm just looking forward to the final.

"It's not easy to get to the final so I'm just going to enjoy it. I probably haven't got many more finals in me left."

Williams made breaks of 110 and 106 but also of 47, 53, 48, 56 and 49 as he remained on course to win again.

The final is the best of 19 frames with the first session starting at 2pm local time and the second session at 7.30pm.

Live coverage is available on FOXSPORTS from 1-5pm and 7.30-11pm daily in Australia . The programmes are also broadcast on Eurosport across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.


SEMI-FINALIST DOHERTY: I NEARLY QUIT SNOOKER


Ken Doherty reached the semi-finals of a ranking event for the first time since 2006 - and revealed he nearly quit the game two years ago.

Doherty, the 1997 world champion, produced 'the best clearance of his career' to complete a fantastic 5-3 victory over world number three Mark Selby and move into the final four of the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open.

However, Doherty admitted he nearly stopped playing snooker after his world ranking dropped to 55th.

"I felt like packing it in at one stage when I never qualified for the Crucible (in 2009), admitted Doherty, who is currently 28th in the world but set to rise after this event.

"I was in qualifying tournaments and only won one match all season and I thought it was the end of the road.”

Doherty now plays Mark Williams, who has also recovered after plummeting down the ranking when he fell to 47th but, after dedicated himself to training, is now the world number one.

Irishman Doherty, a finalist at the Malta Cup in 2006, admitted he had watched Williams turn his career around and felt motivated to do the same.

"He's come back from the depths of despair like me and it shows you can do it, but my recent inspiration has been Darren Clarke winning The Open at the age of 42," said 41-year-old Doherty.

"It was a superb victory over Mark Selby. From 57 behind with only four reds left to win it was my best clearance as a professional. In 20 years I've made some good ones but to close out the match from that position that was the best."

Stuart Bingham won his grudge match with Mark Allen 5-3 to move into the semi-finals of a ranking tournament for the first time.

The two players have not hidden their dislike for each other after Bingham reacted angrily to post-match comments from Allen when they last played - in December 2010 in the quarter-finals of the UK Championship, a match Allen won 9-7.

Allen had taunted Bingham by saying he did not have the bottle to win close matches and repeated the claim in the build-up to this clash at the Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo , Victoria .

However, Bingham, who made breaks of 66, 118, 112 and 96, believed Allen's words had given him extra motivation.

"It didn't upset me, it just gave me more drive," said Bingham. "At the start of the match it showed how much I wanted to do well and that's the worst I've played all week.

"But from 2-1 down I haven't missed a ball and it has gone 65, 100, 100, 90. People say I have no bottle so there you go.

"Mark is a great snooker player and you don't get to be in the top 16 for five years for nothing. Snooker player wise he is up there with the best, but off the table it's another thing.

"It fired me up 1,000 per cent and maybe that hindered me a bit. Once I calmed down I got into the scoring mode and you can see the result.”

Allen admitted the better man won but stood by what he originally said.

"Stuart deserved to win, he played better and scored heavily," said Allen. "I lost it in the first four frames and could've been 3-1 up but Stuart could've made four centuries and that's hard to live with.

"It didn't surprise me because I know what he's capable of. I never said he's not a good player, I just know he's not good under pressure.

"It wasn’t as if I made any lies. I said what other people think but they're too scared to say it.

"I enjoyed this game more and hopefully that's me getting the bug back for practicing more. When I do I know I won't be losing again to people like Stuart."

Shaun Murphy will play Bingham next after defeating Matthew Selt 5-3, while Doherty’s next opponent is Mark Williams, a 5-4 winner over Dominic Dale.

Live coverage is available on FOXSPORTS from 1-5pm and 7.30-11pm daily in Australia. The programmes are also broadcast on Eurosport across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.


BINGHAM VICTORY SETS UP GRUDGE MATCH WITH ALLEN


Stuart Bingham moved into the quarter-finals of the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open to set up a grudge match with rival Mark Allen.

Bingham defeated Tom Ford 5-0 at the Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo , Victoria and now meets Allen, who earlier defeated Marcus Campbell 5-1.

Allen and Bingham have not hidden their dislike for each other after Bingham reacted angrily to post-match comments from Allen when they last played - in December 2010 in the quarter-finals of the UK Championship, a match Allen won 9-7.

"There's a bit of history between us. We don't get on," said Allen.

"He said about getting revenge on Ding for his Crucible defeat but it would be nice to send him back where he belongs.

"He doesn't like me because I told the truth in a press conference that he has no bottle and as he threw away a match at the World Championships after leading 12-9 I think that showed it.

"It was great he did because that let the legend that is Stephen Hendry stay in the top 16 and I would rather see Hendry in the top 16 than Bingham."

Bingham believed Allen was trying to get a psychological advantage ahead of their quarter-final clash, which will take place on Friday at 1pm local time (nine hours ahead of English time).

"I can't wait to play this match," admitted Bingham. "He said a few words after the UK Championship which were a bit out of order and I've been waiting for this match for a while.

"He said I've got no bottle and he thought he was never going to lose to me. I will definitely be up for it.

"But I don't care what he thinks. It will give me more pleasure to beat him.”

Home hopes of glory were dashed in the evening session as Australia’s Neil Robertson, the 2010 World Champion, suffered a shock defeat against world number 30 Dominic Dale.

Dale was 4-2 ahead but Robertson fought back for 4-4 before Dale got the snooker he needed in the last frame to win 5-4.

"It was definitely the match of the tournament so far," said a dejected Robertson. "It's just one of those disappointing things. He made a great snooker with the pink and black left on the table.

"I thought I played good in the match but had a bad patch - it's just one of those things and in sport sometimes you get bad breaks.

"You have to hand it to Dominic and he played very well. When I was getting in the balls I was scoring well.

"The crowd were absolutely terrific and they gave me a great ovation. I'm really disappointed for them."

Elsewhere on day four Mark Williams beat David Gilbert 5-2, Mark Selby beat Mark Davis 5-3 and Ken Doherty fought back from 4-1 behind to defeat Liang Wenbo 5-4.

Live coverage is available on FOXSPORTS from 1-5pm and 7.30-11pm daily in Australia . The programmes are also broadcast on Eurosport across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.


SELT CONTINUES AMAZING RUN IN BENDIGO



Matthew Selt continued his amazing run at the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open with a victory over another of the game’s legends.

Selt, ranked 43rd in the world, had to win two qualifying matches to get to the tournament at the Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo , Victoria .

But he beat current world champion John Higgins on Tuesday and today claimed a 5-1 victory in the last 16 over seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.

“There was a bit of pressure for me to win as I was playing Stephen Hendry and he’s the greatest winner of all time – he’s like a machine,” said Selt.

“After beating John I felt amazing but I was brought down to Earth with that performance.

“I didn’t feel like I did yesterday and Stephen didn’t play well at all. I only had five hours sleep last night so that might not have helped but if Stephen had played well he would’ve won.”

Ken Doherty bounced back from World Cup disappointment to record his finest victory for more than a season.

Doherty was in the two-man Irish team that struggled in Bangkok, only scraping their way through the group after a defeat against Pakistan before being knocked out in the quarter-finals.

But Doherty, ranked 28th in the world, defeated Stephen Maguire 5-2 in the first round.

"I played pretty well and I'm delighted to have beaten such a tough opponent," said Doherty. "It's been such a long time since I've beaten someone of Stephen's standard, a top eight player.

"I can't remember when it would've been but it wasn't last season. I beat Neil Robertson to get to the quarter-finals in the Shanghai Masters the year before last and beat Mark Selby in the Grand Prix.”

World number one Mark Williams also advanced into the last 16 but was furious with his performance in his 5-2 win over Barry Pinches, the world number 41.

"It was really tough and the way I played was just awful, appalling and I don't know why it was so bad," said Williams.

"I was unhappy with every part of it. It's about getting through but you don't want to play like that. Sometimes you get a sense of making 30s but there was nothing today.

"We both dragged each other down; I was missing everything and he was missing everything.”

In the final match of the third day, Stuart Bingham gained revenge on Ding Junhui in a high-quality encounter.

Bingham missed out on a place in the top 16 as he let a 12-9 lead slip before losing 13-12 against Ding in the second round of the World Championships in April.

"It took me about five days to get over that defeat," said Bingham. "After I beat Michael Holt to qualify I went on my Twitter and Facebook pages and said revenge will be sweet - and it tastes nice.”

Mark Selby, the world number three, completed a fantastic fightback in his match with Joe Perry.

Selby was 3-0 behind and 68-13 down in the fourth before he stole that frame on the black on his way to a 5-3 victory.

"Joe was brilliant in the first three and a half frames and I should've gone 4-0 down. If I had then I would've been out of the tournament," said Selby.

"But I managed to grind myself back into it. The interval works both ways and for Joe it came at the wrong time but for me it came at the right time.

"I didn't do that much wrong in the first four frames and if had been 4-0 then I couldn't have had any complaints as Joe was the better player. It could've been 5-0.

"The fourth frame was a big one for me and the match changed after the interval.”

Liang Wenbo narrowly missed out on a 147 break but still did enough to complete a memorable 5-4 victory over Matthew Stevens.

Liang successfully potted 15 reds and 15 blacks but ran out of position potting the last black and he missed the yellow.


WORLD CHAMPION HIGGINS CRASHES OUT IN AUSTRALIA



World champion John Higgins suffered a shock defeat against Matthew Selt in the first round of the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open.

Selt, 43rd in the world rankings, had never won a match in the televised stages of a ranking event before but ended that record in style with a 5-4 victory over four-time Crucible winner Higgins.

After defeating Higgins at the Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo , Victoria , Selt now has a last 16 match with Stephen Hendry, a seven-time world champion.

"John Higgins is the greatest player of all time and Stephen Hendry is the greatest winner of all time," said 26-year-old Selt.

"I knew I could compete at this level and career wise beating John is a great achievement.

"I've just won my first match on tv and now I feel like a proper player. If I play well this week I can go all the way and this has given me the belief that I can do it.”

Higgins' defeat completes a disappointing few days for the Scot after he was and team-mate Stephen Maguire were in the Scottish team that were knocked out of the Snooker World Cup in the quarter-finals.

"This was a bad game to lose," said Higgins. "From being 4-1 in front and having the game in my grasp in two or three of the frames I threw them away.

"Maybe 4-1 flattered me a bit and fair play to Matthew he played very well in the end and his safety game was very good.

"I'm disappointed but maybe it's because I haven't put in the hours practising since winning the World Championship.

"It doesn't matter if you're world champion or world number 300, you need to put the work in and if you don't, you don't get anywhere.

"I've not started the season yet. It's only been a short time since the end of the last one and I've been spending it with my family but I need to knuckle down.”

Ali Carter, the world number six, lost 5-3 to Marcus Campbell, despite making a break of 134 in the second frame.

"Don't get me wrong, it's great we have all these tournaments but I can't wait to get home to be honest," said Carter.

"I've a boy who is 18 months old and I've not seen him for three weeks so that's more important to me to get home and be with my family.”

Shaun Murphy believes he can use his disappointment at missing out on the World Cup to spur him on to a successful season.

Murphy missed out on playing in the Snooker World Cup as Mark Selby and Ali Carter were ranked ahead of him, Carter by only one place and 70 points.

"It did hurt and it was hard not being at the World Cup, especially missing out by such a small margin," admitted Murphy. "It shows how important each match is and if I had won one of the PTC matches I lost then I would've been in Thailand .

"I missed out on playing in the World Cup by 70 ranking points and in our game that works out at about one match here or there.

"I definitely want to be in the World Cup next year and represent my country so I must try harder."

Murphy beat Rory McLeod 5-1 to move into the quarter-finals, while Mark Allen beat Ryan Day 5-3 and Dominic Dale beat Australian amateur Steve Mifsud 5-2.

But Neil Robertson kept home hopes alive with a 5-2 success over Nigel Bond.

“This is my first time playing a professional ranking tournament in my country and I’m relieved to get through,” said Robertson.

“I’m very tired and just wanted to get it over and done with. This match was always going to be tough and it would’ve been a disaster if all three Australians had gone out in the first two days.

“I’m absolutely shattered and some of these players were in Wuxi ( China ), then Bangkok then here.

“If I won this tournament it would boost the popularity of Australian snooker and the turn out for the first round was pretty good. Hopefully we can get some massive crowds and create a fantastic atmosphere for my next match.”

Live coverage is available on FOXSPORTS from 1-5pm and 7.30-11pm daily in Australia . The programmes are also broadcast on Eurosport across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.


TRUMP FALLS TO SHOCK DEFEAT ON DAY ONE IN AUSTRALIA


Judd Trump fell to a shock defeat on the opening day of the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open.

This is the first ranking tournament to be staged in Australia and Trump’s 5-3 defeat against Mark Davis was the surprise result on day one at the Bendigo Stadium.

Trump, a runner-up at the World Championship in May, made a dreadful start as breaks of 84, 91 and 58 saw Davis take a 3-0 lead.

A fightback looked on the cards as Trump scored 52 and 89 in the next two frames to reduce the deficit to 3-2, although Davis restored his three-frame advantage with a 52 in the sixth.

Trump hung on with a break of 62 in the seventh but Davis, the world number 19, sealed the win by edging a hard-fought frame.

Dave Gilbert, who only claimed his place back on the Tour at Q School, maintained his good form with a 5-1 victory over Australian amateur James Mifsud.

Former World Champion Shaun Murphy won a hard battle with Andrew Higginson 5-3 and Tom Ford triumphed by the same score over Jamie Cope.

Stephen Hendry made a cracking start as he froze Martin Gould out in the opening two frames on his way to a 5-3 success.

Rory McLeod won the final match of the day as he battled to a 5-3 victory over Peter Ebdon after trailing 3-0.

“It was very tough, especially as we’re buddies,” said McLeod. “Sometimes you have to graft something and dig deep. I managed to pot the last ball and I’m happy with that.

“I play another friend, Shaun Murphy next, and it would be nicer to play someone you don’t practice with, someone you don’t like.”



2011 AUSTRALIAN SNOOKER GOLDFIELDS OPEN
BENDIGO - AUSTRALIA
THE LAST 32
Matthew Selt
5 : 4
John Higgins
Stephen Hendry
5 : 3
Martin Gould
Rory McLeod
5 : 3
Peter Ebdon
Shaun Murphy
5 : 3
Andrew Higginson
Marcus Campbell
5 : 3
Ali Carter
Mark Allen
5 : 3
Ryan Day
Tom Ford
5 : 3
Jamie Cope
Stuart Bingham
5 : 2
Ding Junhui
Mark Selby
5 : 3
Joe Perry
Mark Davis
5 : 3
Judd Trump
Liang Wenbo
5 : 4
Matthew Stevens
Ken Doherty
5 : 2
Stephen Maguire
Neil Robertson
5 : 2
Nigel Bond
Dominic Dale
5 : 2
Steve Mifsud
David Gilbert
5 : 1
James Mifsud
Mark Williams
5 : 2
Barry Pinches


2011 AUSTRALIAN SNOOKER GOLDFIELDS OPEN
BENDIGO - AUSTRALIA
THE LAST 16
Matthew Selt
5 : 1
Stephen Hendry
Shaun Murphy
5 : 1
Rory McLeod
Mark Allen
5 : 1
Marcus Campbell
Stuart Bingham
5 : 0
Tom Ford
Mark Selby
5 : 3
Mark Davis
Ken Doherty
5 : 4
Liang Wenbo
Dominic Dale
5 : 4
Neil Robertson
Mark Williams
5 : 2
David Gilbert


2011 AUSTRALIAN SNOOKER GOLDFIELDS OPEN
BENDIGO - AUSTRALIA
THE QUARTER FINALS
Shaun Murphy
5 : 3
Matthew Selt
Stuart Bingham
5 : 3
Mark Allen
Ken Doherty
5 : 3
Mark Selby
Mark Williams
5 : 4
Dominic Dale


2011 AUSTRALIAN SNOOKER GOLDFIELDS OPEN
BENDIGO - AUSTRALIA
THE SEMI FINALS
Stuart Bingham
6 : 2
Shaun Murphy
Mark Williams
6 : 2
Ken Doherty


2011 AUSTRALIAN SNOOKER GOLDFIELDS OPEN
BENDIGO - AUSTRALIA
THE FINAL
Stuart Bingham
9 : 8
Mark Williams










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