Congratulations Stephen Maguire!
He beat John Higgins by 8 frames to 6, in a quality final. It’s Maguire’s first individual title in five years. Quite baffling for a player of his quality really.
It’s a first individual title for world number 15 Maguire since he won the 2014 Lisbon Open. He also won the Six Red title earlier that year.
In an exciting final, Glasgow’s 38-year-old Maguire pulled away from 6-6 to win the last two frames, taking the trophy and top prize of four million Baht (£106,000) at the invitation event in the Thai capital.
It’s his second title of the season as he teamed up with 44-year-old Higgins to win the World Cup for Scotland in China in June. This time the two friends and practice partners went head to head, with Higgins playing in the Six Red final for the first time.
He won the tenth as well then squandered a clear chance in the 11th, missing a red to a centre pocket. Four time World Champion Higgins cleared the table then made a break of 58 in the 12th to level at 6-6.
With the match in the balance, Maguire made a vital break of 39 to regain the lead at 7-6. And he got the better of a tense 14th frame, the score 34-18, to secure the title.
“It feels good, I was very lucky,” said Maguire. “I’d like to thank the sponsor and promoter for putting on the tournament. All of the boys enjoy this, everyone loves coming out to Thailand.”
Aside of the tournament proper, there was a six-reds exhibition between two legends of the game: Stephen Hendry and James Wattana. My understanding is that Hendry won by 3-2.
Update! I was wrong! It’s James Wattana who won. This comes from Instagram:
The Thai MC, Twitah Warintrakom, a legend himself, told me that the decider was played with 15 reds to entertain the audience, and shared a few pictures on social media:
It’s fair to say that people turned up for it! Stephen Hendry – who was used to being hated for beating Jimmy White more often than not, and winning “too much” – is now hugely popular! Well it’s nice that! And it’s nice as well that Stephen now seems to enjoy life to the full. His posts on social media are mainly about fine wines, premium cigars and food (plenty of it!).
As for Twitah, he also posted those two images side by side
… taken 26 years apart! They haven’t changed a bit, innit?
And here is the exhibition. Big thanks to Silvry!