John Higgins Makes His 900th Career Century | 2022 Cazoo British Open

Higgins Surpasses Hendry’s Maximum Tally

Scotland’s four-time World Champion John Higgins fired in the 12th maximum break of his career in a 3-1 first round win over Alexander Ursenbacher at the British Open in Leicester.

Higgins now moves clear of compatriot Stephen Hendry, who has made 11 maximums. Only Ronnie O’Sullivan has composed more 147 breaks, having made 15.

The magic run came in the very first televised frame on ITV4 this season and the opening frame of the match. It is the 167th official maximum break in snooker history. Higgins is now in position to pocket the £5,000 high break prize.

The Scot, who won the British Open the last time it was held back in 2004, has turned to spin classes in order to lose weight and gain fitness whilst preparing for this season.

Switzerland’s Ursenbacher did respond by claiming the second frame with a fine clearance of 61 to make it 1-1. However, it was Higgins who sprinted to the line with breaks of 78 and 57 to wrap up the 3-1 win.

“I’m delighted. Any time you make one is great, but to do it from the first shot for the coverage of the event is brilliant,” said 31-time ranking event winner Higgins. “I knew it was on, but I was also trying to win the frame and not do anything stupid. When I was on about 60 I could have played up for the pink but I decided to try and get back for the black and go for it.

“I just automatically felt a little bit more free walking around the table (having lost weight over the summer). It should help you produce better snooker. I don’t know how many more years I will be playing, so it will just help trying to be able to compete with the top guys for as long as possible.”

Snooker legends Ken Doherty and Jimmy White secured impressive 3-0 victories to get their names in the hat for the second round draw, which will be made on Tuesday afternoon.

White defeated Irish teenager Aaron Hill, while Doherty fired in a fine run of 77 in the third frame to see off Zak Surety. Afterwards Doherty admitted that he is in favour of open draw format in operation this week.

Doherty said: “I love the format – the FA Cup style draw and the short matches. It’s great to have a different format and the fans get to watch a lot of matches.

“I’m in the twilight of my career and just enjoying myself. If I win I’m elated, and if I lose I don’t get as deflated as I used to. That’s the right psychology.”

There are five players from Leicester competing this week and the local players had mixed fortunes today. Louis Heathcote and Joe O’Connor enjoyed 3-2 wins over Yuan Sijun and Steven Hallworth respectively. However, Ben Woollaston succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against Hammad Miah.

Welsh three-time Crucible king Mark Williams opened up his British Open campaign with a fine 3-0 defeat of China’s Tian Pengfei, while Jordan Brown edged out Andrew Higginson 3-2.