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Magic Murphy Progresses

Triple Crown winner Shaun Murphy eased through at the WST Pro Series, winning seven matches from seven to top Group A and progress to the second phase.

Despite the Magician’s dominance, it wasn’t until he earned a 2-1 win over 1994 Masters winner Alan McManus in the second last round of matches, that he secured his progression. Breaks of 95 and 59 were enough to see Murphy seal the deciding frame win. He followed that up with a 2-0 defeat of Shoot Out champion Michael Holt.

Joining Murphy in the second phase is Leicester’s world number 70 Louis Heathcote, who recorded a crucial 2-0 defeat of 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty in his last match to claim second place in the group. Heathcote fired in a break of 113 in the decisive frame, to leave himself with an unassailable advantage over nearest rival McManus. The Scot beat compatriot Fraser Patrick 2-1 in his final game to finish level with Heathcote on 15 points, but went out on frame difference.

Murphy said: “The secret of these formats, certainly for me, is that I don’t tend to look at the situation of how you stand throughout the day. I don’t think it does you any favours. I try 100% on every shot, in every match, each time I play. Looking at tables and working things out doesn’t really do anything for me. In fact, it just puts pressure on.

“I had three centuries today, so I’ve had a good day’s workout. I think we saw how coming to the Championship League prior the Masters sharpened John Higgins up and he put in a good performance at the Masters. That sort of thing can benefit me. Living in Ireland, with the travel restrictions means coming here isn’t as easy for me. I’m not quite as well practised as everyone else is, I’ll stay here now, try to stay out of everyone’s way and get ready for the German Masters.”

Both Heathcote and Murphy will return in March for the second phase of the £420,500 ranking event

Phase one continues on Sunday with Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Zhou Yuelong headlining Group L. Fans can watch the action live on  Matchroom Live website.

For live scores click here and for the group tables click here.

Click here for all match fixtures

Click here for the revised group draw

Shaun Murphy 7 7 0 14 5 21
Louis Heathcote 7 5 2 12 7 15
Alan McManus 7 5 2 11 6 15
Xu Si 7 4 3 10 7 12
Michael Holt 7 3 4 8 10 9
Brian Ochoiski 7 2 5 6 11 6
Ken Doherty 7 2 5 6 11 6
Fraser Patrick 7 0 7 4 14 0