CUESTARS Seniors Tour player Neil Carroll (pictured) has pocketed £500 for topping the rankings list of a six-month competition.
The 57-year-old from Rownhams survived a tense final day to win the 26-week Open Series at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club.
Carroll led the rankings going into the last tournament but opened the door for his two title rivals by losing in the first round to Gold Tour front-runner O’Shay Scott.
Second-placed Austen Petty knocked out third-placed Steve Read and needed to at least reach the final but he came up against Bronze Tour champion Asten Sahota in the semis. And ten-year-old Sahota was on a mission to secure 11th place and a £55 prize.
Sahota, receiving a 37-point start, then beat women’s world number eight Suzie Terry 3-1 in the final. Petty was forced to settle for £430. Read collected £340.
Beaten semi-finalist Scott jumped four places to joint fourth with Harry Wyatt, who was otherwise engaged in Salisbury earning a spot in the last-16 south of the PowerGlide English Under-14 Championship. The pair share £405.
The 29th Open Series attracted a record total entry of 539 over the 26 weeks (at an average of 20.73). This beats the previous record of 534 for Series 25 in 2018/19.
A total of 104 breaks of 50 or more were recorded during the series. Oliver Sykes contributed 44 of them – including three centuries. Petty was second with 18.
The 12-year-old Saturday afternoon handicapped competition starts again at 1pm on January 15. The total prize money of £2,235 for the top-12 stays the same. The entry fee of £10 for club members stays the same. There is a guest fee for non-members.
The format is a handicapped straight knockout with a plate for those players losing their first match. Handicaps are automatically adjusted weekly by a clever spreadsheet. No age limit. No pre-registration. No dress code. No miss rule.
Free practice tables are available, subject to customer bookings, until both finals end around 6-7pm.
A typical week’s entry would include four or five of Chandlers Ford SC’s new generation of exciting young players aged nine to 11, a handful of Cuestars Silver or Gold Tour players, a sprinkling of recognised century breakers, some older but experienced club players (Cuestars Seniors Tour standard, for example), one or two from the World Women’s Tour and perhaps a couple of players of 20 break standard who want a bit more than just social snooker.
It’s interesting to note that if someone had played in all 26 tournaments in Series 29 and collecting average points each week, they would have finished in fourth place and won £240.
£500 Neil Carroll (Rownhams), £430 Austen Petty (Boyatt Wood), £340 Steve Read (Chandler’s Ford), £202.50 Harry Wyatt (Ferndown), £202.50 O’Shay Scott (Eastleigh), £135 Will Forster (Wickham), £95 Riley Ellis (Clyffe Pypard, North Wilts), £95 Dan Hammond (Winchester), £70 Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford), £60 Jack Dady (Southampton), £55 Asten Sahota (Southampton), £50 Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford).