Barry Hawkins won the biggest title of his 16-year career by beating Graeme Dott in the final of the Partypoker.com Snooker Shoot-Out.
The one-frame knockout event in Blackpool produced a series of exciting matches, and Dartford’s 32-year-old Hawkins was the last man standing. He pocketed his biggest cheque since turning pro in 1996: £32,000 for winning six ten-minute matches.
In the final against former World Champion Dott, Hawkins got the first chance and made an excellent break of 46 before missing a red with the rest. Dott knocked in a long red and had a chance to counter, but made just 8 before jawing a red to a centre pocket. As the clock ran down, Dott had one more scoring chance, but failed to double a red to a centre pocket, and Hawkins was able to close out the frame by a 61-23 scoreline.
“It’s a brilliant feeling, definitely the best moment of my career so far,” said Hawkins, whose only previous professional title came at the Masters qualifying tournament in 2007. “I’ve played in big matches at the Crucible, but to win a tournament live on television is amazing. It’s a shame there were no ranking points but I’m still delighted.
“The money is amazing, especially as I’m getting married in June (to Tara) in Dartford. This will pay for the whole thing and we’ll be able to have a great day.”
World No 23 Hawkins, who has appeared in the semi-finals of four ranking events, added: “I’ve shown spells of form but always struggled with consistency. I’ve been working with Terry Griffiths for the last few months on mental strength because in the past I have lacked self-belief. Terry is brilliant and has helped me a lot.
“I’ve always scored very heavily in practice so it’s a case of taking that to the match table. I made a lot of 50 and 60 breaks in this event, kept my composure under pressure and didn’t miss much. Hopefully this is the start of things to come.”
The innovative tournament, which features a shot-clock of 20 seconds for the first five minutes and 15 seconds for the last five, drew packed houses to the Tower Circus to see 64 of the world’s best players in action.
In the semi-finals, Hawkins beat Dave Harold 56-30, while Dott scored a 56-38 win over Tom Ford, who missed the black off the last red when poised to clear up.
Martin Gould made the highest break with a brilliant 135 total clearance.
Results (last 16 onwards)
Dave Harold bt Ryan Day
Graeme Dott bt Rob Milkins
Barry Hawkins bt Stephen Maguire
Dominic Dale bt Stephen Lee
Martin Gould bt Jamie Jones
Tom Ford bt Gerard Greene
Barry Pinches bt Liang Wenbo
Mark Davis bt Mark Allen
Graeme Dott bt Dominic Dale
Barry Hawkins bt Mark Davis
Dave Harold bt Martin Gould
Tom Ford bt Barry Pinches
Barry Hawkins bt Dave Harold
Graeme Dott bt Tom Ford
Barry Hawkins bt Graeme Dott