There will be precious little time for snooker’s latest ranking winner to enjoy his new found fame as new Welsh Open champion Jordan Brown and the 15 other players on one year ranking list all are currently hot footing it down the motorway from Wales to Milton Keynes for the Players Championship which starts this evening.
Brown pulled off one of the greatest shocks in snooker when he beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final to lift the Ray Reardon trophy and become the longest priced ranking event champion ever, just a mere matter of hours ago.
Playing in his first ranking final, Brown, who nearly quit the game just a few years ago, secured his maiden ranking title by beating Mark Selby before moving on to the game’s greatest of all time, the Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The Rocket Can Win It
Can he keep that kind of form up at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes? Well, probably not, but what a story and he’s got to be in with a chance. There are only four games to play after all and if you can beat those two, you can overcome anyone.
That said, I’m not putting my money on him. Brown will begin his hunt for his second ranking title against the legendary John Higgins on Tuesday. That match could prove very telling indeed.
The obvious two are, as ever, the Ace in the Pack Judd Trump and Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan. While they cannot win every tournament, it is hard to make the case for backing against the pair given their class.
If all goes according to class, the pair should meet in the semis and, should they meet, I would lean towards the Rocket, all things considered, not least he seems to have discovered his love for the game in last six months and is playing as well as he has at any point of the last seven years.
Ace In The Pack
Trump opens his campaign with his match against former World Champion out of form Stuart Bingham, while Ronnie faces a slightly tougher challenge in his opener against Ding Junhui.
If we were to have a third pick, that would surely be Mark Selby.
True, he hasn’t been handed the easiest of draws, but is the outstanding player of the bottom half and, should he beat former world champion Mark Williams, he could set himself up for another deep run at the Marshall.