Stephen Maguire fired in a record six tons for a best of 17 on his way to a 9 – 5 win over Neil Robertson in the Coral Tour Championship in Milton Keynes over the weekend.
It came as snooker made its second return to the Marshall Arena since the Championship League a couple of weeks ago as live sport was given the go-ahead to proceed since being stopped in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown was then announced on the 23rd March.
Snooker led the way back for Live Sport on June 1st with the Championship League.
Maguire’s six tons included a 135 high break – all with a brand new cue.
It was the first time Maguire had played proper snooker in three months but said when he got the call saying he might be in it, due to Ding withdrawing, he said he was having a beer in his garden and said he guessed he should get his new cue out and practice a little.
Seven times World Champion Stephen Hendry said it was just flawless snooker from the former UK Championship winner in 2004 and the best he’s seen Maguire play.
His pal Alan McManus said Maguire’s new sense of confidence came from a belief that he really does feel now like he is a top player and deserves to be among the World’s best players.
Maguire, 39, had also racked four tons on the bounce in the match, leading him to go 8 – 5.
Performance of the season…
Maguire said: ‘I felt sharp.’
But he seemed surprised by how well he played and quipped: That was a one-off fluke.’
He added, though: ‘it was pleasing.’
Stephen Maguire also adds his name to a list of players who have made four consecutive centuries in a match. John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson, and Gary Wilson have all done it.
Less pressure with no crowds…
Neil Robertson, who made two tons and holds the record for the number of tons in a season -1 03, said after that because there was no crowd, there wasn’t as much pressure as there normally is. He reckoned because of that, you’ll expect the standard to be much higher for the rest of the event.
Robertson tweeted that his hair would get a trim before the World Championship in response to a fan: “Ha ha, yes, will have a good trim before the Worlds.
He also added: “No crowds means it’s just like practice. There is literally zero pressure. Also, the pockets were set up like an exhibition table. Impossible to miss when you’re in.”
First-round losers collect 20K prize money, but the money does not count as ranking points towards their ranking position.