Michael Holt defeated Liam Davies 5-2 in the final at the Snookerhallen in Stockholm, Sweden to win the second UK/Europe Q Tour event of the 2023/24 season.
Former Shoot Out winner Holt is seeking a return to the professional ranks and his maiden Q Tour triumph sees him rise the rankings in pursuit of top spot come the end of the seven-event campaign which guarantees promotion to the World Snooker Tour.
As a seed player, Holt began his challenge on Saturday in the Swedish capital. After receiving a walkover in the last 64 he defeated Yu Kiu Chang (Hong Kong) 3-1 with breaks of 74 and 68, and then dispatched Event One runner Craig Steadman 3-0 – registering a run of exactly 100 in the opening frame.
Returning for the last eight the next day, Holt restricted his opponent Daniel Womersley to just 14 points throughout the entire match as he recorded a 4-0 success with efforts of 84 and 82.
In the semi-finals, the 45-year-old ended the run of Wales’ Alfie Davies 4-1, top scoring with a 58 break in frame four. Previously, Holt had never been past the last 32 of a Q Tour event, but he relinquished just two frames in four matches en route to his first final on the circuit.
Emerging from the other side of the draw was 17-year-old Davies who was looking to become the first player to win back-to-back Q Tour titles after securing Event One in North Shields last month.
Davies – who remains top of the overall rankings – survived a deciding frame against Daniel Holoyda (Poland) in the last 64 before whitewash wins over Oliver Sykes and the experienced former professional and Shoot Out winner Robin Hull in the last 32 and 16 respectively.
In an entertaining quarter-final, Davies ousted last season’s Q Tour Playoff finalist and current Austrian national champion Florian Nuessle 4-3. Nuessle crafted a break of 113 to force a deciding frame but Davies was not to be denied.
Awaiting Davies in the semi-finals was fellow teenager and reigning Polish national champion Antoni Kowalski who was making his Q Tour debut. Davies, though, became only the third player to reach consecutive event finals as he compiled breaks of 79, 50 and 65 in a 4-0 victory.
Holt started the final very well with a 91 break in the opening frame. He then doubled that lead, but Davies responded as he deposited the next two frames (61 break, frame three) to go all square into the mid-session interval.
However, momentum swung again after resumption as Holt strung together three successive frames – including a run of 70 in the sixth – to claim the title.
Event Three is set to take place at the TSG Heilbronn in Germany between October 20-22.