Snooker Shines In Llandudno

Written By The World Snooker Tour

Snooker’s biggest names were in Llandudno in February for the Welsh Open, one of the sport’s most historic tournaments.

In fact it’s the longest running ranking event other than the World Championship and UK Championship, having been staged every year since 1992. And on this occasion, it was staged in North Wales for the first time, having always previously been in Newport or Cardiff.

Venue Cymru in Llandudno has hosted various professional snooker events in the past, but never before the Welsh Open, which is part of the sport’s Home Nations Series.

It was a star-studded line up with many of the all-time greats in the field, including Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Allen and home favourite Mark Williams. However, a series of surprise results meant that none of those players reached the semi-finals.

Shaun Murphy produced a moment of magic when he made a maximum 147 break during his fourth-round match against Daniel Wells, and he went on to beat China’s Pang Junxu in the semis to reach the final. Robert Milkins came through the other side of the draw, knocking out another Chinese player, Tian Pengfei, in the semis.

The final began with Murphy ‘Moonwalking’ into the arena, as he had promised to do on his own podcast at the start of the season. And he looked on his way to a victory dance when he built an early 3-1 lead. But Milkins, who had previously won only one ranking event in his 28-year career, rose to the occasion as he hit back to win 9-7.

It was a significant triumph for Milkins as the prize of £80,000 also meant that he finished top of the BetVictor Series rankings, which banked him an extra £150,000 bonus.

“It won’t sink in for a couple of weeks. I can’t believe I have won the title and the bonus,” said Milkins. “I was fighting my emotions. I didn’t play the way I wanted to play, but in the end, I dug in and I’m really proud of myself.”

Murphy said:

“It has been a fabulous crowd all week, this is a very special place and I want to thank the fans for their support.”

A spokesman for the World Snooker Tour added:

“It was a fantastic week in Llandudno with the crowds packed out every day. We know there is so much enthusiasm for snooker in North Wales.”

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