Finals

White Scores Shoot-Out Success

Michael White won his first professional tournament after beating Xiao Guodong in a dramatic final of the Snooker Shoot-Out in Blackpool on Friday.

White's natural quick game helped him in the Shoot-Out - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

White’s natural quick game helped him in the Shoot-Out – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

The Welshman sank the winning black ball with only six seconds left remaining on the clock to deny his devastated Chinese opponent a taste of glory.

By contrast, White reveled in his big moment in front of a boisterous crowd at the Tower Circus arena, evidently taken aback with his success on the big stage on Sky Sports.

The victory solidifies what has been a progressive season for the 23 year-old having risen to a career-best of 22 in the world rankings.

The Shoot-Out, of course, with its shot-clocks and other variations to the regular game enforced, does not count towards any rankings list but that will not take away from what will surely be a huge confidence booster for the former European Under-19 amateur champion.

The Neath native collects a handy winner’s cheque of £32,000 for his efforts – winning a mere six successive frames of snooker – and the priceless addition of a piece of silverware on his mantelpiece.

White has for a decade been touted as one of the brightest talents in the game and showed glimpses of his capability when he reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship in 2013.

A professional since he was 16, White often struggled for consistency as the pressure of expectation perhaps weighed on his shoulders but this season has been a different story, with more regular runs toward the business end of tournaments – including the last eight of the Shanghai Masters and International Championship.

People may scoff at the very premise of the Shoot-Out but it will be interesting to see what effect White’s win has on the remainder of his campaign.

The tournament as a whole divides opinion with traditionalists believing that it is a far cry from how the game should be played.

They are entitled to their view and it is within their rights not to watch or support it.

But there’s no real reason to not include different formats every now and then throughout a season to ensure that the competition does not become stale.

The Shoot-Out lasted only three days and provided plenty of drama, culminating in two bright prospects for the future creating a frenzied finish.

I’m certain Michael White for one wont mind seeing it on the calendar again next season.

You can watch the final here.

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