Stephen Maguire wins the Tour Championship 2020 and the Coral Cup

Stephen Maguire, the man who should not have been in the tournament, has won the Tour Championship 2020, beating Mark Allen in the Final by 10-6. In the process, he snatched the Coral Cup from Judd Trump’s hands, and the £100000 going with it. He also took the highest break prize, £10000 by scoring a 139 in the last session of the tournament. Until that point, he was sharing the highest beak with Judd Trump as they both had a 135 previously. And, finally, he gets also an invitation at the Champion of Champions 2020.

Congratulations Stephen Maguire!

No doubt, Mags must be Trump’s favourite fellow professional this morning!

Anyway, I’m happy. I’ve always liked Stephen Maguire because he’s a genuine guy; he wears his heart on his sleeve and always speaks his mind. He knows how good he can be, but has no big ego.

Here are the reports by WST:

Afternoon session:

Mark Allen and Stephen Maguire set up a blockbuster final session of the Coral Tour Championship, ending the afternoon locked together at 4-4.

There are high stakes heading into tonight’s play. A top prize of £150,000 is up for grabs, with Maguire also able to depose World Champion Judd Trump from the top of the Coral Cup standings with victory. That would see the Scot bag an additional £100,000 bonus.

Surprisingly the pair have only met six times in their career so far. Allen holds the edge in the head-to-head, leading 4-2. However, Maguire won their most recent clash 6-0 in the semi-finals of this season’s UK Championship.

Allen started strongest this afternoon, composing breaks of 50 and 76 to establish an early 2-0 lead. Maguire refused to wilt and contributions of 89 and 69 saw him draw level at 2-2 at the mid-session.

When play resumed, Maguire took the lead for the first time in the match. Allen quickly restored parity with a sublime break of 125 to level at 3-3. They then traded a scrappy final two frames of the session to end 4-4.

The pair will return at 7pm to play the best of 19 encounter to a conclusion.

Evening session:

Stephen Maguire claimed his first ranking title in seven years, beating Mark Allen 10-6 in the final of the Coral Tour Championship in Milton Keynes.

It’s the sixth ranking title of Maguire’s career, with his previous triumph coming at the 2013 Welsh Open where he beat Stuart Bingham 9-8 in the final.

The victory will taste even more sweet for Maguire, given he was a late entry to the event after Ding Junhui elected not to travel to the UK. It sees Maguire leave Milton Keynes with a mouth watering £260,000, the biggest payday of his career.

In addition to the £150,000 top prize, he’ll take home £10,000 for the highest break, a run of 139 which he compiled in the first frame this evening. Maguire also tops the Coral Cup standings, which sees the player who accumulates the most prize money in the series earning a £100,000 bonus.

Allen leaves Milton Keynes with the £60,000 runner-up prize. It will move the 2018 Masters champion to number four in the world, his highest ever ranking.

The players couldn’t be split after the first eight frames this afternoon, emerging locked together at 4-4.

Maguire’s 139 in the first frame tonight set the tone for what was to come. He increased his advantage by claiming the tenth frame to lead by two for the first time in the match at 6-4.

They traded frames to head into the mid-session with Maguire leading 7-5. When they returned it was the Scot who made a decisive burst. Breaks of 78 and 53 moved him to the verge of glory at 9-5. Allen kept the heat up by firing in a century run of 107 to pull within three.

The 16th frame provided huge drama on the colours. Both players laid treacherous snookers, before it all came down to the pink and black. It was Maguire who eventually deposited a long pink and a tricky black to the middle to secure the title with a 10-6 win.

“To win this tournament, with the best players in the world, over a longer format is unreal. It is amazing that I am the last man standing,” said 39-year-old Maguire. “I was all over the place at the end. I thought I’d win it half an hour before that. I had a couple of chances and things would just go wrong. I was just glad I got a shot at that pink. If it was anywhere near a bag, I was going to go for it. I felt good about potting it. I landed alright on the black and the rest was history.

“It’s scary, it has definitely not sunk in yet. The amount of money this tournament has paid is incredible. It is a hell of a lot of money for five days of work.

“If I’m not confident going into any tournament after that then there is something wrong with me. I’ll go back, take a few days off and look forward to practising for Sheffield.”

Allen said: “I made too many mistakes today. You can’t afford to do that in any final, never mind against Stephen when he is playing so well. He stepped it up tonight. I felt I missed the boat, I should probably have been ahead after the first session. All credit to Stephen, he has been knocking on the door for a while now. I am gutted to lose, but if I am going to lose to anyone, it is one of my best mates on tour. I am glad to see him win.”

It was a very good final to watch, it was played in great spirit. Mark Allen’s level dropped a bit in the evening session, and Stephen Maguire upped his a notch. Stephen never allowed frustration to get the better of him, something he’s been guilty of at times in the past.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Stephen Maguire wins the Tour Championship 2020 and the Coral Cup

  1. Cast your mind back to late November 2019 and Maguire was struggling at the UKs with a virus and a broken ankle.

    ““I feel awful. I was spewing all the way down on the train yesterday,” he said. “I went to bed at five last night and woke up at seven this morning. The kids are off school back in Scotland and I’ve obviously caught something from them.”

    Sound familiar? There have been persistent rumours that the virus had been in circulation for some time prior to the lock-down, peaking back in March with widespread herd immunity already developed by then.

  2. Yes an interesting match, and quite a strange tournament. Allen seemed to run out of steam, something which might explain how he keeps losing in semi-finals. In my view Maguire really enjoyed the closed-doors arrangement. The match was played in a friendly way, with occasional chat between the players. This also favoured Maguire, who hasn’t won a big tournament for 7 years, because it made the situation much less intense.

    Still, another great success for WST for snooker.

    • Allen running out of steam seems to be a bit of a pattern. I think that he would benefit from working on his fitness, but not sure he’s ready/willing to do that.

  3. Very happy for Maguire. a lovely lad and great to see how he snatched al those prizes Trump may have thought he got. 🙂 Congratulations!

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