Belfast Telegraph



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Gareth Hanna and Paul Martin

Jordan Brown of Northern Ireland delivered one of the biggest shocks in snooker history by defeating legendary Ronnie O’Sullivan to win his first ranked tournament at the Welsh Open

When he entered the tournament at number 81, he became the lowest ranked tournament winner in 28 years after putting in a nervous effort to triumph 9-8 against the six-time world champion

This makes him only the fourth Northern Irishman to win a rankings title and follows in the footsteps of Alex Higgins, Dennis Taylor and Mark Allen

A break of 74 in the crucial frame sealed the Ray Reardon Trophy and £ 70000 for a player who had never exceeded the last eight in a ranking event before this week.He moves up to 45th in the world rankings 1st place after coming to the tournament as a 750-1 underdog

The final was the fifth game of the tournament in which Brown had been brought to a crucial point on a remarkable weekend, beating three-time world champion Mark Selby in the semifinals and the former British championship Stephen Maguire in the semifinals before he shocked O’Sullivan

Five years ago he was working at a gas station and was considering giving up the sport. Now he is the Welsh Open Champion

“I’m absolutely speechless,” he said. “First of all, it’s an absolute honor to play against Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final. He’s the greatest of all time, and it’s an honor to just play him

“I’ve always believed in myself I’ve had some dark days in my snooker life, but that makes you a stronger person. I’ve never stopped believing in myself All that sacrifice and hard work; I’ve worked at the gas station and also played full-time snooker For five years I said I would try because I had never really committed myself before. Now it all pays off “

Beaten O’Sullivan, who had opened the scoring with his only point in the decisive frame in a rather coincidental way, could not allow his opponent to win

“I enjoyed every minute of it today,” he said “I loved playing Jordan. He’s a great guy, he really is I’m so glad he wins. In this last picture I was red and I could see the disappointment on his face What a horrible way if I had won it (like that) I’m so happy for him He’s such a lovely guy and a fantastic player too You don’t beat people like Selby (if you’re not )

“And I played well today Not many people beat me when I play well so he’s a real player It’s fantastic for Jordan It’s his night and you couldn’t be happier for him It was great”

Strong starts were a hallmark of Brown’s run to the final, and he quickly calmed all nerves by taking a 2-0 lead and winning the second frame with a visit of 58 after O’Sullivan’s a presentable pink in the middle Had missed bag

The rocket cut the deficit in half with more than a touch of luck, benefiting from a red red at a crucial point, but Brown struck back and took a 3-1 lead in the middle of the session

Picking up where he left off when the players returned, the 33-year-old pieced together the first century of play from both players for a barely believable three-frame advantage

O’Sullivan responded with successive centuries, the first of which was a flawless release that at one point looked like it might get to a maximum

With Brown’s lead to 4-3, the last frame of the session won crucial and both players knew it, with safety being the order of the day for the longest frame of the afternoon

The Antrim ace took the risk when it came into the break 5-3 and left the match in a nice position

O’Sullivan improved at the beginning of the evening session and after capturing a cage-like opener to move within one, he reeled off consecutive breaks of 68 and 61 to take the lead for the first time

The rocket on a reel is a formidable prospect, but Brown struck back admirably, defeating a tense swap of colors to restore parity before a visit from 49 put him back on top again

A missed pink by O’Sullivan at 7-7 proved crucial, with the missile visibly showing its frustration when his break ended at 25 and Brown took advantage of it to move a frame away

An O’Sullivan century made a decision, but the Portrush-based potter, who had faced four such situations en route to the finale, held his nerve again to seal a historic triumph

The Antrim ace can now celebrate being the lowest player to have won a ranked title since Dave Harold’s Asian Open victory in 1993, and will head off to this week’s Players Championship with confidence

Belfast Telegraph



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Jordan Brown Snooker, Ronnie O’sullivan, Jordan Brown

World News – GB – Jordan Brown of Antrim beats Ronnie O’Sullivan and wins the Welsh Open in one of the biggest snooker shocks of all Times