Peter Gilchrist made it back-to-back tournament triumphs on the World Billiards scene after victory at the Pacific International last month.
Following recent events in the Republic of Ireland and Canada, the latest leg of the circuit was held at the Yarraville Club in Melbourne, Australia. With double world ranking points and a $15,000 Australian dollars prize fund on offer, the competition attracted entries from England, India, Singapore and New Zealand, who all lined up alongside a strong host nation contingent.
Fresh from claiming the Pan-Am Cup in Winnipeg a fortnight before, Singaporean citizen Gilchrist comfortably won all his group games to qualify for the knockout stages where he eliminated Simon Scerri (Australia) 750-320 in the last 16. During his 1000-297 success over Alok Kumar (India) in the quarter-finals he made the tournament’s highest break of 452 (unfinished) and then produced a contribution of 268 in dispatching Dhruv Sitwala (India) in the semi-finals.
The final would be a re-run of the World Championship decider from last year in Leeds, England, bringing together world number one Gilchrist and current world champion Sourav Kothari from India. Multi-talented Kothari was enjoying his time ‘Down Under’; earlier in the week he switched disciplines to claim the lucrative Reventon Classic Snooker Championship. In booking his place in another final, Kothari defeated defending champion Rob Hall (England) in the last eight and then had to recover from a sizeable deficit to deny fellow countryman Dhvaj Haria, 1250-1094, in the last four.
However, his hopes of an impressive double were dashed by Gilchrist, who gained a measure of revenge for his loss to Kothari in the sport’s biggest match some eight months previously. Despite a run of 290 rewarded the world title holder with a handy early lead, efforts of 211, 242, 252 and 200 helped Gilchrist emerge as a 1500-706 winner. It is Gilchrist’s fourth trophy of the 2018/19 campaign.
Two Australians reached the quarter-finals; Michael Pearson and multiple-time National and Oceania Billiards Champion Matthew Bolton.
Players will return to Melbourne in October for the 2019 World Open and 2019 World Billiards Championship that will take place at the RACV Club.