Peter Gilchrist made it back-to-back title wins in Auckland this week as he defeated Gary Norman 792-444 in the final to successfully defend the Barton McGill New Zealand Open.
The level 3 World Billiards Tour ranking event was the main course of a double header held at the Papatoetoe Cosmopolitan Club. Singaporean citizen Gilchrist had triumphed at the Auckland Open a few days previously, reclaiming the world number one spot in the process.
The four-time WBL World Champion was in scintillating form during the groups phase as he won all four of his matches to finish top of Group A and qualify for the knockout rounds. Gilchrist constructed breaks of 402, 612 unfinished and a mesmorising 729 – which stood as the highest break of the tournament.
The 55-year-old defeated Mark Taylor (New Zealand) 854-206 (breaks of 181, 236 and 141) and then booked a place in the final following a 1107-216 victory against Oceania legend Wayne Carey (New Zealand) in the last four. During that tie with Carey, Gilchrist crafted another huge contribution of 545, along with other efforts of 136 and 360.
Englishman Norman also reached the title match with a 100% record.
A member of the successful England team at the recent HIBSF Home Internationals, Norman eliminated recent Auckland Open runner-up Glenn Yeo (Singapore) 454-291 in the last eight and Grant Hayward (New Zealand) 437-366 in the semi-finals.
Gilchrist, though, would prove to be too strong in the three-hour final as he top scored with runs of 149 and 179 on his way to retaining the title.
The next stop on the World Billiards Tour is the Landywood Snooker Club in Walsall, England in October where the English Open and World Billiards Championship take place.