Finals

Michael White Wins Paul Hunter Classic

Michael White PHC (WS)

Photo credit: World Snooker

Michael White won his second ranking event title after a 4-2 victory over Shaun Murphy in the final of the Paul Hunter Classic on Sunday.

The Welshman counted defending champion and world number one Mark Selby among his other victims as he adds to the Indian Open crown he captured in 2015.

Like with his maiden success two years ago, there will be many who point to the depleted field that entered this event with several marquee names absent from the draw in Furth.

However, White could only beat those who were put in front of him and still managed to do so in style by knocking out the world champion and eclipsing the in-form Murphy in the deciding showdown.

Murphy tastes defeat at this cruel stage for a second successive week following his prior loss to Luca Brecel in the final of the China Championship last Tuesday.

The Englishman was always battling to stay in the contest after he lost the opening two frames to fall behind early on.

The pair traded runs of 84 and 83 as White edged closer to the winning line, briefly offering a reprieve when he missed what would have been the match-clinching black in the fifth frame.

The 26 year-old held his nerve together well, though, to compile an excellent 97 break and collect the £20,000 top prize. 

At the start of the day, White overcame favourite Selby 4-1 before recording similar scorelines against Ian Burns and Mitchell Mann.

Mann took advantage of the weakened line-up by meeting and beating three amateur players to reach the semi-finals of a ranking event for the first time in his career.

Murphy, meanwhile, reached the last two thanks to hard-fought triumphs over Zhao Xintong, Ben Woollaston, and Jamie Jones – who he beat in a decider having trailed by two frames with three to play.

At one stage on Sunday, it had looked decidedly possible and maybe probable that a third first-time champion of the season would manifest itself.

Only White and Murphy knew what it took to win a big title from the last eight and they duly proved their experience by going all the way to the final.

White will be hoping this glory will act as a springboard to greater profits after a somewhat inconsistent spell on the circuit.

The former European under-19 champion has been talked about as a future star player since his early teens but he is still yet to quite reach the highest echelons of the sport.

Murphy will undoubtedly be disappointed to have surrendered again at such a late stage in a tournament but overall will be pleased with his form going into a busier and more lucrative period of the campaign.

The Paul Hunter Classic was another well-attended event as the crowds in Germany continue to express their support and love for snooker.

It’s a shame then that the tournament now feels a little forgotten, what with its place on the calendar, the mediocre prize fund on offer compared to all the other ranking tournaments, and with so many star players opting out.

In the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic at the Ballroom, Reanne Evans turned the tables around by avenging last year’s final defeat to Ng On Yee by beating the world champion from Hong Kong 4-1 with a high break of 59.

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