Tom Ford recorded his second career 147 break en route to a 4-1 victory over Matthew Stevens in the Bulgarian Open today.
The Englishman was in the third round after victories over John Parkin and Robert Milkins and came out of the blocks all guns blazing against his Welsh opponent with a stunning maximum in the opening frame.
Ford’s fluency around the table was a joy to behold as he looked assured throughout his effort – failing to let three untimely kicks unsettle his rhythm.
And the completion time of just over eight minutes means it is one of the fastest ever recorded perfect frames, I believe good enough to make the top five behind three from Ronnie O’Sullivan and one from Thailand’s James Wattana.
It marks the Leicester man’s second 147 after he compiled the break against Steve Davis at the 2007 Grand Prix, while it also marks the 92nd time the famous break has been recorded in a professional tournament.
Barring anybody else making a max before the end of the event in Sofia, Ford will take home a healthy sum of £2,500 for his efforts.
Even though it was a remarkable rally, the main thing was to finish off Stevens and he did so 4-1, taking advantage of the fact his challenger had only 45 minutes sleep last night following a late flight from the UK.
Ford is a bit of an unknown quantity. He is hugely talented but one of the most inconsistent players on the Main Tour and often struggles at venues in front of the cameras.
However, the 29 year-old has won a PTC event in each of the first two seasons the series has been staged so it would not be a surprise to see him go on and lift the trophy on Sunday evening.
Elsewhere, world no.1 Judd Trump continued his dominant form of late by winning a further three matches on the trot to reach the last 16.
The ‘Juddernaut’ dropped only three frames in overcoming Martin O’Donnell, Michael Wild and Aditya Mehta as he makes another concerted effort to add to his growing trophy cabinet – and in doing so hoping to wipe away the memory of two recent defeats in finals to John Higgins.
His friend, practice partner and housemate Jack Lisowski joined him in the fourth round after an excellent 4-3 victory from behind against Mark Selby.
Meanwhile, 6-Reds world champion Mark Davis beat Luca Brecel and Paul Davison to qualify for Sunday, where he will play Thai Thepchaiya Un-Nooh – the 27 year-old having ousted Tony Drago and Alan McManus.
Finally Andrew Higginson and Anthony McGill will do battle in the last 16 while the match between Dave Harold and Kurt Maflin is lagging behind at 1-0 at the time of writing.
So far so good for the new tournament in the continent. Crowds were decent and improved throughout the day – with a big audience in attendance to enjoy Ford’s magical moment.
Tomorrow sees the bottom half of the draw whittled down before the event comes to a conclusion on Sunday.
The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.