Local star turnout for inaugural Bob Mason Open 2023…

Local star turnout for inaugural Bob Mason Open 2023…

Stars of past, present, and future compete in inaugural Bob Mason Open 2023 to remember the staunch grassroots snooker fan/legend.

The inaugural Bob Mason Open took place last weekend of the 26th and 27th August at Woking Snooker Centre in Surrey.

The event, which saw up to 48 enter the draw attracted a variety of different players open to all as the field included a healthy turnout from the Byfleet League and from Cuestars players and also regular club players from all surrounding areas.

It was held in honour of Robert Mason, an avid supporter of grassroots snooker who set up the club in 1988 and boomed into the early nineties and beyond. The trophy was presented by Bob’s  lifelong partner Kay Mason.

After the hustle and bustle of the first day of round robin matches, Sunday saw the latter stages enter with players from The Byfleet League and Cuestars all competing for the top prize of a QSchool place.

The last 16 included Jasmine Bolsover, talented young player William Thomson, Cuestars founder John Hunter and jet setter Ryan Mears and Paul Bunyard to name but a few stars from the local snooker community.

Other World Women Snooker tour players included Tessa Davidson, one of a few WWS coaches around in the game.

Ryan Mears entered the field with a 109 break with World Women’s Snooker Tour star Jasmine Bolsover also making a 48.

Mike Finn and Paul Bunyard competed in a hotly contested final with Finn claiming the title.

Bunyard, now in his mid-forties has a close history with the club as he was one of the talented youngsters coached by Bob Mason early on in his snooker career, as also other now top amateur stars came through the 80s and 90s grassroots of snooker.

Bunyard, in his youth was tipped by Mason as having the same characteristics of World Six times Champion Steve Davis.

In an article by John Whitbread, who covers various sports, including Woking FC, from years back, Bunyard was the 12-year-old tipped to be as a good a cueist as Steve Davis, if not better, according to Robert Mason at the time.

Owner Mason, who was an England manager, coach, and referee at Woking Snooker Centre, told Whitbread back then: “I know it’s a big claim to make, but I believe that young Paul is as good if not better than Steve Davis at that age.”

Mason passed away earlier this year and the Bob Mason Open was enjoyed by everyone who competed.

Marcos Dayao, 23, who plays out of a club in West London, told SnookerZone: “The tournament was brilliantly organised and supporting grassroots snooker for seeing new talent and new generations coming through. This weekend was more special because there was a Qschool place on offer (or the cash prize equivalent to nearly £600 and a trophy for anyone who wins it.”

Dayao, who came into the last 16, added: “The field was very tough due to so many players. I didn’t play well in the quarters as Dharminder Lilly played well. I did well to beat Ryan Mears as he’s a fantastic player from 2 – 1 down and took my chances well in the last two frames.”

”I will definitely be playing more Pro Ams, Cuestars, and EPSB events in the future, as I like to compete and getting results under my belt.”

The event was well run by Woking Snooker Centre and SnookerZ.co.uk and team did a terrific job running the tournament.

Results can be found on the SnookerZ.co.uk website by Terry T.

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Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!