Jordan Brown, the 33 years old from Northern Ireland, ranked 81s before the event, beat Ronnie O’Sullivan by 9-8 to become the
2021 Welsh Open Champion
Congratulations Jordan Brown!
Here are the reports by WST:
Brown Secures First Session Lead
World number 81 Jordan Brown earned a shock 5-3 lead over World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan after the first session of the BetVictor Welsh Open final at the Celtic Manor Resort.
Northern Irishman Brown, 33, is competing in his first ever ranking event final this week. His illustrious opponent O’Sullivan is in his 56th title match at a ranking tournament.
If the Antrim cueman can complete the job this evening it would be one of the greatest upsets ever seen in a major final. Victory for O’Sullivan would see him claim a record equalling fifth Welsh Open title, to draw level with John Higgins.
Brown, a 750/1 outsider at the start of the week, looked calm and composed in the opening stages as he claimed the first two frames to lead 2-0. A break of 74 saw O’Sullivan get his first frame on the board in the next, before Brown fired in a run of 78 to lead 3-1 at the mid-session interval.
When play resumed, a stunning contribution of 108 helped Brown into a 4-1 lead. The Rocket then roared back into contention with breaks of 135 and 121 to move within a frame.
However, Brown crucially took the last of the afternoon to emerge two ahead. The pair will return at 7pm to play the best of 17 encounter to a conclusion. The winner will claim the Ray Reardon Trophy and a top prize of £70,000.
Brown Downs Rocket To Land Maiden Title
Jordan Brown recorded a stunning 9-8 upset win over World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan to claim his maiden ranking title at the BetVictor Welsh Open.
Northern Ireland’s Brown, who was off the tour and working in a petrol station just three years ago, was competing in his first ever ranking final. By contrast, his illustrious opponent was playing in the title match of a ranking event for the 57th time.
The Antrim cueman was a 750-1 outsider coming into this week’s event, the largest pre-tournament odds of any ranking event winner in snooker history. His victory sees him pocket the £70,000 top prize, along with the Ray Reardon Trophy.
Brown is Northern Ireland’s fourth winner of a ranking title, following in the footsteps of Alex Higgins, Dennis Taylor and close friend Mark Allen.
World number 81 Brown also becomes the lowest ranked player to lift ranking silverware since Dave Harold won the 1993 Asian Open. Harold was world number 93 at the time.
The 33-year-old now heads to Milton Keynes for next week’s elite 16-player Cazoo Players Championship, where he will meet four-time World Champion John Higgins.
O’Sullivan, who is a four-time winner of the Welsh Open, narrowly misses out on equalling John Higgins’ record haul of five titles in the event. The six-time Crucible king will now also head to Milton Keynes, where he will play Ding Junhui in his Players Championship first round tie.
Brown came into this evening’s session with a 5-3 advantage. However, O’Sullivan claimed a tight opening frame on the pink, before a run of 68 restored parity at 5-5.
O’Sullivan then hit the front for first time in the match, but Brown bounced back to claim a tightly contested 12th and head into the mid-session level at 6-6.
After sharing the following two frames, O’Sullivan had the first opportunity in the 15th. He didn’t make the most of it and missed a pink on 25, visibly showing signs of frustration. Brown pounced on the opportunity, to compile 56 and move a frame away from victory at 8-7.
O’Sullivan forced a decider with a sublime run of 119. However, Brown wasn’t to be denied and fired in a steely break of 74 to seal the title.
“It is unbelievable. To beat the greatest player of all time in a major final. It was an honour just to play him,” said 33-year-old Brown. “I just had a calm approach coming into today. I wasn’t playing the opponent. If you just play Ronnie, instead of just focussing on the balls it can be very daunting. I had a strategy to focus on my own game and it worked.
“I’m a very proud Northern Irishman, to follow in the footsteps of the players that have won events before me is an absolute dream come true.
“It is fantastic to be in the mix at the Players Championship. It means so much. I think I proved a lot there today, with what I did and how I held myself together. I’m sure I proved to tour players and people back at home that I can play to the very highest level.”
O’Sullivan said: “I have enjoyed every minute of that today, I’ve had a fantastic time. I love Jordan, he’s a great guy. I’m so happy for him to win. He is a fantastic player as well. I played alright today and not many people beat me when I’m playing alright. He is a proper player.”
The sympathetic, unassuming Ben Williams was the man in the middle and Leo Scullion shared a couple of pictures getting ready:
And WST one of the handshake at the start of the match
Jordan Brown’s win a great story, a very positive boost for the sport we love. He’s a nice guy, he didn’t have it easy, but he nerver gave up, chased his dream, worked hard and, here he is, the unlikely but so deserving champion.
Nick Metcalfe, a respected sports’ journalist, who, with Phil Haigh runs the “Talking Sport” podcast, was reflecting the other day on twitter about how refreshing it was to seen a Ballymena garage sponsoring a local sportsman. It is indeed and surely today they must be very proud of their man. You won’t see that in many sports.
Jordan will play in the Players Championship this week , he’s now 7th in the one year list with a good chance to play in the Tour Championship, and he will get a spot in the Champion of Champions next season. He’s also now up to 45th in the rankings.
As for Ronnie… he will probably be disappointed, but he was very gracious in defeat and looked genuinely pleased for his opponent, who he praised and congratulated warmly. He’s now 4th in the one year list, and safe for the Tour Championship. He’s reached three of the four “Home Nations” finals this season, something no player had done before, but, unfortunately lost them all. This one was the closest and he probably lost it in the first mini session. When he was 4-1 down, he needed to win 8 of the possible 12 remaing frames. A tough task against any player in a final. He nearly did it. He showed resilience and trememdous fighting qualities. However, mixed with some incredibly gutsy shots, there were too many mistakes all along.
Here are the scores:
Ronnie scored more heavily than Jordan, made three centuries, and still lost. The first reason is that he made mistakes at some crucial moments and his approach to the game is such that he then usually leaves something on, the second is that Jordan had a very, very high % of safety success. He was exceptional in that department.
Now a word about the “Big Upset” tag… The bookies were making Ronnie a massive favourite, and the pundits went along with that. I don’t get it. Even before the match started, I thought that this was crazy. Yes, I made Ronnie favourite on experience and because he had played well and looked up for it, but not a “massive” favourite, not after the way Jordan had beaten Mark Selby and backed that with a proper demolition of Stephen Maguire.
The 2021 Players Championship starts tonight, and here is the confirmed draw:
Judd Trump (1) v Stuart Bingham (16)
Zhou Yuelong (8) v Barry Hawkins (9)
Jack Lisowski (5) v Martin Gould (12)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (4) v Ding Junhui (13)
Neil Robertson (3) v Lu Ning (14)
Kyren Wilson (6) v Ryan Day (11)
Jordan Brown (7) v John Higgins (10)
Mark Selby (2) v Mark Williams (15)