Jimmy White has won the UK Seniors Championship after a 4-2 triumph over Ken Doherty in the final on Thursday.
Victory for the “Whirlwind” comes on the 25th anniversary of his biggest ever ranking event win as a professional at the 1992 UK Championship in Preston.
The 55 year-old was understandably a very popular champion, both in front of the big crowd in Surrey and also across social media where he received plenty of congratulatory messages.
White began the final day with a cagey 3-1 success over Jonathan Bagley, the only qualifier to reach the last four of the competition, while Doherty, many people’s pre-tournament favourite, comfortably dispatched of Stephen Hendry 3-0 in a repeat of their 1994 UK final.
Doherty had compiled a brace of centuries, including a terrific 137 total clearance, in a superb quarter-final win against Patrick Wallace on Wednesday but couldn’t quite replicate that form in a mostly low-scoring final showdown.
The opening four frames were shared, with the Irishman knocking in a 61 in the fourth to tie the game up and set up a potentially nail-biting finish.
However, White controlled the last two frames to avoid what would have been a dramatic black-ball decider had the scores reached 3-3.
With the success, the 2010 World Seniors champion receives a replica of the old UK Championship trophy from the 1970s and 1980s as well as pocketing the £7,500 winner’s cheque.
The UK Seniors Championship was the first major tournament in the new World Seniors Tour that has been launched by Snooker Legends exhibition promoter Jason Francis.
The tour has already garnered a huge amount of support with three events still left to play in this first campaign, and more qualifying events set to be held across the UK, Ireland, and even as far afield as China.
Francis has been actively seeking out new venues to stage competitions, especially across Europe and Asia, as he attempts to grow the tour and it will be very interesting to see how far he can take it.
He certainly seems to have the support of the players and fans of the game have taken well to the format, which provides a nice mix of serious play and a bit of banter, and brings back a number of familiar faces including in-venue commentators John Virgo and Dennis Taylor, and popular referee Michaela Tabb.
The tour is supposed to be open to amateur players over the age of 40 so some may point to the fact that the two finalists this week still ply their trade on the professional circuit.
Francis argues that their invitational tour card status offers a loophole but it’s a bit of a grey area, especially when you consider that Doherty reached the semi-finals of the Riga Masters in June.
Yet, while this new venture gets up and running perhaps a few liberties can be taken and the inclusion of both of these legends will of course have helped to spark additional interest.
Plus, who can really deny White this crowd-pleasing victory as he rolled back the years to add another crown to his glittering trophy cabinet.