Shaun Murphy lived up to his nickname of ‘The Magician’ as he carved a beautiful 147 break in the Championship League yesterday at Crondon Park.
The perfect break came in the third frame of his Group 2 encounter with Mark Davis when he was trailing 2-0, and the max gave him the impetus to go on and claim the match 3-2.
Indeed, Murphy leads the round-robin phase after the opening day’s action with three wins from four games, just ahead of Neil Robertson and Joe Perry on frame difference.
The 147 was Murphy’s second in his illustrious career, some 13 years after his maiden effort, and the 103rd compiled in professional tournaments overall.
The knock was almost faultless from beginning to end with the Englishman only out of position in minor detail on a couple of occasions.
The reds were spread beautifully from the outset, with nothing on the cushions and no colours safe, ensuring as simple a route as a competitor of Murphy’s stature would wish for in achieving the ultimate break in snooker.
The 147 is the sixth of the season so far and many will speculate that with the break being completed more frequently these seasons, it somewhat diminishes the feat.
There may not be as much hype over one as there was, say, when the likes of Thorburn, White, Hendry and O’Sullivan made theirs at the Crucible, but for there to be only just over a century of maximums made over a period spanning three decades and thousands upon thousands of frames of snooker, should highlight how difficult it remains to be.
On a side note, but perhaps related, 2005 world champion Murphy has started 2014 looking in great shape physically after a few months of a strict diet regime that has led to the 31 year-old shedding a lot of weight.
Fair play to him. Murphy has never disappeared from the higher echelons of the sport but the fact that he has failed to win an event since the 2011 Brazil Masters ought to have initiated some cause for concern.
His size and weight may or may not have proved to be a significant factor in that stretch but, nevertheless, the extra stamina and manoeuvrability around the table should aid his progress in the long-run.
As things stand, after his effort on Wednesday he’s off to a good start.
You can watch the 147 on YouTube here.
The results from Group 2 can be viewed here.