China’s Ju Reti has become the first amateur player to win a Players Tour Championship event.
A couple of players have come close before, notably Joe Swail when he reached the final of a European event in Gloucester last year, but Ju broke new ground by overcoming in-form Michael Holt 4-1 in the final in Zhangjiagang.
Holt had looked odds-on to collect his third piece of silverware on the PTC series since its inception in 2010 when he comfortably saw off Liang Wenbo, the only other professional player remaining, 4-1 in the semi-finals.
However, he quickly fell 3-0 behind in the final to breaks of 58 and 55 and, despite a 69 of his own in the next, Ju responded to take a tight fifth frame for glory.
It’s a windfall for Ju, 30, who captures his first professional trophy, a winner’s cheque of £10,000 and has secured a trip to the lucrative PTC Grand Finals in March.
Not only that, but he is now eligible to join the Main Tour next season.
Holt will be disappointed but it brings an end a superb period for the Nottingham man, who last week reached a ranking event semi-final for the first time at the Shanghai Masters.
Yet, the previous fortnight has all been about China. After Ding Junhui and Xiao Guodong contested the maiden all-Chinese ranker final, Ju may have just offered snooker fans all around the world a further glimpse of the future domination in the sport from this country.