World number 120 Michael Wild scored an astonishing 6-0 victory over Judd Trump in the International Championship qualifiers in Barnsley.
Trump took the £125,000 top prize in this tournament three years ago but this time goes home with nothing after an error-strewn display against a player 113 places below him on the ranking list.
It’s by far the biggest career win for Oldham’s 34-year-old Wild, though he did beat Steve Davis 5-0 in the Australian Goldfields Open qualifiers three years ago. Wild earned a tour card by winning this year’s EBSA Championship, though his only previous match this season was a 5-0 defeat against Liam Highfield in the Shanghai Masters qualifiers.
Wild took the first two frames tonight on the colours then carved out a 5-0 lead with breaks of 63, 82 and 62. Trump, arguably snooker’s most consistent player last season, had a chance to pull one back but missed a tricky last red to a centre pocket when trailing 43-51 and his opponent cleared up to seal victory and earn a place in the final stages in Daqing later this month.
“It’s the best moment of my career by far, it’s unbelievable,” said an elated Wild. “I’d put it above the time I beat Steve Davis. It’s hard enough beating Judd, let alone 6-0. I felt nervous before the game, but once I got into it and won the first frame I relaxed. Judd didn’t really get my chances, I kept him out as much as I could.
“I’ve just had my practice table made exactly the same as the tournament tables so that has made a big difference. This will be my first trip to China and I can’t wait. It will be a brilliant experience and if I play like that I can win it.”
Four-time World Champion John Higgins raced to a 6-1 win over Ashley Hugill. Higgins, who has already won the Australian Goldfields Open this season, needed less than two hours to end the challenge of amateur Hugill. Breaks of 73 and 53 were the highlights for Wishaw’s Higgins.
Jimmy White built a 3-1 lead over Rod Lawler, but the Whirlwind was denied a trip to China as Lawler hit back to win five frames in a row after the interval, closing with a run of 120.
Former World Champion Ken Doherty enjoyed a 6-3 win over Vinnie Calabrese with a top run of 66.
Welshman Lee Walker came from 5-3 down to beat Mark Davis 6-5, making a 103 in the tenth frame then clearing from the last red to black to pinch the decider.
Joe Perry eased to a 6-1 win over Michael Wasley while India’s Aditya Mehta beat Ian Glover by the same scoreline.
Rising star Zhao Xintong
Zhao Xintong underlined his potential with a 6-0 victory over Stuart Carrington, making breaks of 53, 51, 86, 69 and 66.
China’s Zhao, age 18, just missed out on a tour card this year when he lost in the final round of Q School, but has moved to Sheffield and is sure to gain a place in most ranking events as an amateur top-up.
“I’m happy with my performance today, especially with my attacking play,” he said. “I was very disappointed not to get through Q School, especially as the last match against Duane Jones was the worst match I played. But soon afterwards I felt better because I know I will have many chances to get on to the main tour, if I’m good enough.”