The 2021 Welsh Open – Jordan Brown is your Champion!

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

WelshOpen2021BrownWinner

Congratulations Jordan Brown!

Here are the reports by WST:

Afternoon session

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.

Evening session

Brown Downs Rocket To Land Maiden Title

WelshOpen2021BrownWinnerJordan 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.

WelshOpen2021BrownROSHandshakeO’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

WelshOpen2021BrownROSStartHandshake

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:

WelshOpen2021BrownROSFinal-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)

34 thoughts on “The 2021 Welsh Open – Jordan Brown is your Champion!

  1. I wouldnt have thought about it really hadnt he said that he could see Jordans disappointment, because, to be honest, I felt that disappointment and sorry for him too for one second, but then again: Come on Ronnie! and then after the pot attempt: Come on Ronnie? Are you serious?

  2. So nobody thinks Ronnie lost more or less deliberately with attempting a pot after the fluke in the last frame?
    Nobody thinks there were too many thoughts in his mind like Jordan needed the win more and that he didnt want to play Jordan two days after fluking a tournament which could have been Jordans maiden, which Ronnie must know is an outstanding moment? Usually professionals dont do this but……….

      • No way. That’s not how those guys function. I remember Neil Robertson beating Joe Perry in the 2014 Wuxi Classic. Perry needed just one more frame, and it would have been his first ranking title. Perry had helped Neil massively in all sorts of ways when he arrived in the UK, without money and his game still very raw. Neil wanted Perry to win, but he did what he had to do, came back at him, did beat him and he had tears in his eyes in the end. Ronnie is no different. They are competitive animals

      • I don’t think it is “bitter gamblers” all the time. Many people are looking for a “silver lining” that Ronnie did it “out of the goodness of his heart”, that is he could have won and did not because he did not want to, but made a favour instead, because he is a “good man”. I think it is preposterous and would be really unkind towards the fans who were rooting for him. But like every conspiracy theory many fans are trying to make sense of yesterday, because that Ronnie tried his best and still could not win against Jordan Brown just does not cut it. Of course, expectations were for a much better scoreline, not a decider, but I don’t think it is right to dismiss these people as simply disgruntled losers of money.

      • I also hope not and youre right Monique but a true professional also would have played safe there in a decider where one mistake could be ones last. Your example with Neil is alright but imo Ronnie cant be compared to any snooker player really. Anyway. Maybe Ronnie has decided to become the Robin Hood of snooker. No wait…….that was Anthony Hamilton luckily.

      • Ronnie played that way against Selby in the SF at the Crucible, it worked, and everyone praised him. This time it didn’t and many blame him. That’s him, that’s his game. There is no right or wrong way: players play the shots as they see them. Ronnie doesn’t like to get stuck in safety battles.

      • well this is all over social media, I think it was on Ronnie’s mind and it was particularly ugly towards the fans. this is what I mean when I say he is not a winner the way Hendry and Judd are

      • The fact that it’s on social media doesn’t mean it’s true. Far from it. Every time there is an “upset” bitter losing gamblers troll the Internet suggesting foul play.

      • Well at least I can say Im not a gambler and yes Monique, of course I was thinking of the Selby match but that was special because Ronnie decided he couldnt beat Selby in the safety department in a match with such a long distance, so this was a tactical decision. I just dont think yesterdays shot choice was a tactical decision, I think Ronnie knew he could beat Brown in a safety exchange, but we cant answer that question really, we will have to wait for his memoires.

      • it is not a speculation, he said it in the interview…I was like wtf, you souldn’t f..king feel for your opponent

  3. Yes, I am disappointed as well (I think Ronnie also), but to all the writers on this side, I think it is whether a reason to tell him to retire nor to be very angry on him because reaching three finals is successful work, perhaps not with the end we all wish. I am looking forward to see him in the upcoming tournements and hope he will play well and long in every tournement!.

      • That’s nonsense, not least because things can turn and often do. It you restrict the tour to winners only, you will end up with a some 20 players tour at most… certainly not sustainable financially, nor viable on the long term. Very few players win right from the start. It took Trump more than 10 years to become a consistent winner and Neil Robertson was relegated twice.

  4. It was devastating. I’m sure many think it was a great story, so they will do without me joining them. Ronnie was fighting, no question about it, and played some sublime snooker. He also had unexplainable misses and a total lack of “cue action” sometimes and remembering those opportunities lost does not make it any easier to stomach this loss. He lost the three finals he played and the first two were very subpar in every sense, he just scraped through the tournament, so it was a miracle he was in the final, but this was different as he played great all week and he played the final against an opponent ranked 81 and completely blew it yesterday.

    It completely destroyed my theory that longer matches are good for him, because he can afford a slower start, so I put that theory to rest now. It seems he is no longer able to go over the line that is needed to win a title, so that’s it. I would not say he should retire, it is up to him if he is happy to hang around the top and have some runs here and there. But it requires a completely different mindset to watch him and enjoy the occasional brilliance which is still there sometimes, knowing that a good match should be taken as a good match in itself and not something that will ever result in a title. Until now I always felt I was watching the champion building his way towards another tournament victory. I guess many felt like that and this should be let go now unfortunately. It’s up to everyone personally how they can accept it and live with it.

    • I meant this for you:
      finally a sane person, sick of people not pointing this out. he just stopped being a winner, period. this shit never happened to Hendry or Trump in finals. people will stop taking ROS seriously and that’s the end really

      • Thank you. I don’t like if people are sugarcoating the situation. It is better to see as it is.

        As to Aleksandr’s examples. maybe those losses were more painful at the moment, but at least happened to top players, so this was a qualitatively different thing. Ronnie had in his career early exists when he was the heavy favourite. But losing a final like yesterday after his very good week, is a new experience. And maybe it is pressure and he can no longer cope with it, but in the end it boils down to the same: the inability to win another tournament.

        It is still possible to enjoy his game if he plays well, but I think that it is also useful to adjust expectations. I understand that some people cannot take it and will support someone else or stop watching altogether or continue watching and enjoying the game, enjoying even more than usual when Ronnie plays well, but without expecting anything else than the occasional great match from him somewhere in the middle of a tournament.

      • I’m not sugarcoating anything. Ronnie played inconsistently yesterday. He played some very good frames, and had some unexpected misses. What I don’t like is the contempt that Juan shows to Jordan. Yes, he was number 81 at that time, in his FIRST year of his tour card. A tour card he had regained by qualifying for the Crucible; he had beaten Ryan Day and Hossein Vafaei en route. Day just won the Shoot Out, Vafaei sent Trump packing in this very competition. He beat Selby in the QF, he destroyed Maguire in the SF. He had won 4 deciders in a row to get to the final, including against Selby. That alone should tell you how good he is actually, despite his ranking. Ronnie has been inconsistent this season, and that to me,this is more related to age than inability to handle pressure. Some of the shots he played, and got yesterday, were very high pressure shots.

      • Oh, it wasn’t about YOU sugarcoating, Monique, it was a lot of comments here and there which piled up in my mind, that in the end it was not a very important tournament for him, he did not want to win on a fluke and therefore messed up on purpose instead of playing the safety as he should have in the decider (well, he fed that theory with his comments about Brown’s sad face), and he was saving himself for the Players’/Worlds, take your pick (how a loss in a final would further that goal escapes me) and this is just off the top of my head. People go to all kinds of lengths to lower the significance of yesterday’s loss (together with the two previous losses in this final this season), while I suggest to recognize a trend there and adjust expectations.

        The pressure thing was a response to Alexander who said Ronnie just cannot play obvious underdogs as well as he should. I agree it might be an age thing and this is why I don’t derive solace from examples of things that happened 15 years or so ago.

  5. Cannot quite agree with your comment, Juan. First of all, If I’m not mistaken Ronnie had a very lean couple of seasons in 2005/2006 and 2006/2007. His only consolation was winning the 2007 Masters, which is not a ranking event. Other than that he lost in three ranking finals on the trot: 2005 and 2007 Grand Prix and 2006 Nothern Ireland trophy….My point is that we’ve seen this already before. Secondly, the form of the player cannot be judged by a final neglecting other matches. Before losing in these finals he won a fair share of the matches, some of them quite comprehensively. But I would agree that in Nothern Ireland trophy and Scottish Open he was under par. Last week, on the contrary, played sublime most of the matches, especially against R.Williams, Gould, Zhou and M. Willams. It is always disappinting to lose in any match but I personally do not see any reason Ronnie should be frustrated with his performance or should consider retirement. By the end of the day, he always does his best when we all try to discount him.

    • maybe you’re right but it is still ridiculous that nobody would even mention that the two most embarrassing snooker monents of the last decade happened to ROS…James Cahill in ‘19 and now this. there is no excuses for losing a final against a complete no-one. he should seriously think about his future because apart from 2 good weeks in August he has been shit for two straight years, so he might as well stop disappointing people

      • The complete no-one beat Selby in a decider in the QF, and destroyed Maguire in the SF. Every top player was a no-one before becoming a top player. As for Cahill, ROS was ill when he played that match.

      • And if you are disappointed, it’s YOUR problem, not his. As long as he wants to play and stays on tour, he should do it. If YOU can’t cope with that, just don’t watch. That simple.

    • finally a sane person, sick of people not pointing this out. he just stopped being a winner, period. this shit never happened to Hendry or Trump in finals. people will stop taking ROS seriously and that’s the end really

      • Not quite a correct comparison, Juan. Above all, Hendry retired in 2012, his last ranking title came at 2005 and the next year he lost in both finals he participated. As far as Trump is concerned, he is, nodoubtedly, at the peak of his powers and still has not managed to win more than 3 Major titles. We all witnessed how prone he is to the pressure in the final of UK Championship 2020 against Robertson. As for Ronnie, we have seen far more painful losses in the past: against Higgins in 2006 Masters, against Selby in 2008 Welsh Open and more notably against same Selby in 2104 World Championship Final. These are only some examples. But Ronnie did manage to recover….If you argue it is a disgrace to lose to world No. 81 well I think in this case the ranking does not reflect a true picture as Brown now in No.7 in 1-year ranking list. With what I would agree though is that Ron played badly in previous two finals (as a foreigner do not dare to use the term “played shit” to avoid any confusion among English native speakers😂) and ,yes, finds it more difficult to play obvious underdog as it happened in this final or in Cahill match.

      • I know he was a lot better than Hendry or Trump, but neither of those would lose to players like Cahill and Brown in major finals, this is just a disgrace, full stop. I don’t even think he believes he can win finals anymore, he knows he’s too shite and can’t cope with pressure

      • He only won the World Championship 6 months ago… no pressure there I’m sure. Hendry never reached a final after 2006. He was 37. And he never competed under the flat draw system.

      • I said already that the WSC was a two-week exception, otherwise he’s played shit for two straight years…maybe it would help you too if you didn’t sugarcoat every result all the time

      • You hit it on the head, Monique. Only 6 months have passed since that famous victory. Remember Ronnie was many times in predicament there, maybe apart from the match with Thepchaya. But he invariably dug deep, stuck to his game, stuck to his method. And before WCH many had written him off…..I reiterate that as a fan I consider almost any of Ronnie’s losses as a tragedy, but as a human I realise that no-one has a divine right to win everithing. To be a true fan you’ve got to have a patience of Job sometimes😂 …but to be fair, Ronnie has stepped up his game considerably comparing to the before Christmas tournaments. As far as Jordan Brown is concerned, he has proved he is a good player and only time will tell if he is the one to upset the apple cart or he can progress further.

  6. funny how the snooker establishment is trying to sell this disaster as a “great story”. the only thing this match has shown is that ROS can’t cope with the pressure no more. played 3 finals this season, played shite in all 3. hope he retires as he has just embarrassed himself to a degree never seen before

    • He didn’t play shite yesterday, and it’s not for anybody but him to decide when Ronnie retires. At the moment, shite as he is, he’s 4th on the one year list. Jordan Brown beat Selby as well, who is number 2 in that list. I suppose he should retire also then? Yes, it’s a great story. Not the one I wanted, but it’s a great story. The story of someone, who worked hard, bettered himself, never gave up and eventually got the reward. If you can’t cope with the disappointments that inevitably will come more often as when players get older they become less consistent, I suggest that you leave this blog alone and go support someone else. And Alelsandr is right. Ronnie had some very lean spells in his career and came back from them.

      • yes he did play crap, the green and the pink he messed up were laughable, don’t defend him pls when he doesn’t deserve it

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