Three years ago Jordan Brown was working in a petrol station, now he’s scored the biggest win of his career to beat Stephen Maguire 6-1 and make his first ever ranking event final at the BetVictor Welsh Open.
The Northern Irishman, who first turned professional in 2009, began his current stint on the World Snooker Tour in 2018 by coming through Q School.
However, world number 81 Brown was flirting with relegation from the circuit at the end of last season. Only a run to qualify for his maiden Crucible appearance at the World Championship spared him a return to Q School.
Brown will now face either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Mark Williams over the best of 17 frames in tomorrow’s final, with a top prize of £70,000 and the Ray Reardon Trophy on the line.
Victory for Brown this afternoon also comes with the added bonus of a place at next week’s Cazoo Players Championship, by securing his position in the top 16 of the one-year money list. Defeat for Tour Champion Maguire, who himself only needed to win today to clinch a spot, ends his hopes of qualifying.
Brown is enjoying the best form of his career, having reached a maiden ranking quarter-final just last month at the BildBet German Masters.
The Antrim cueman got off to a flyer this afternoon, firing in a sublime run of 135 to take the opener. However, Maguire immediately responded by stealing the second frame on the black to level at 1-1.
From there 33-year-old Brown dominated the remainder of the tie. He composed breaks of 56, 113 and 59 on his way to five frames on the bounce to secure his place in the final.
Brown said: “Three years ago I was working in a petrol station and serving customers, getting up at 5:30 and 6:30 every morning. It is crazy to think of the journey that I have had. To be in a ranking tournament final is just incredible.
“It was very important to stamp my authority early. I showed Stevie that I was ready to play. The 135 break just settled me right down. I was pleased to carry it right through the whole match.
“I’ve been putting the hours in on the practice table. Maybe I was just going in to pot balls in the club before. It is more intense now and I am treating it more like a match occasion. That means something. It is easy to pot balls, but there is a lot more too it than that.
“It means everything to be in the Players Championship. All of the sacrifices and hard work have led me to this moment. It is very satisfying because I’ve always had the inner belief to compete with the top players. To be in the mix next week will be amazing.”