The 2019/20 campaign is barely a week old but Tom Ford has already driven home the first 147 break of this term at the International Championship qualifiers.
Ford’s maximum effort came in the seventh and last frame of his preliminary round 6-1 triumph over Fraser Patrick in Sheffield on Monday.
It marks the 35 year-old’s fourth in competitive play on the Main Tour and helped see him ease through to the venue stages of the International Championship in Daqing.
That makes Ford one of the most prolific 147 break builders of all time, moving alongside Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, and Marco Fu in joint seventh on the career list.
Unfortunately for last year’s UK Championship semi-finalist, there’s no prize for achieving the feat – well, not yet at least.
That’s because the Englishman’s 147 comes just over a month after World Snooker supremo Barry Hearn’s announcement of a change to the criteria for awarding maximum prizes from this season.
Instead of the rolling fund that had been utilised for a number of years, there is instead a one million pound collective bonus on offer for the entire circuit.
If a total of 20 maximum breaks are achieved this season, each player who has contributed to the tally will receive a percentage of the staggering jackpot.
Yet, many feel that it is merely a publicity stunt by the charismatic chairman and that the chances of 20 actually being compiled are pretty slim.
Indeed, there has never been close to that amount in a single season, with only a dozen constructed during the 2018/19 spell.
Still, proceedings are off to a good start with Ford’s knock and, with so many tournaments on the calendar, who knows what could happen between now and May when the players return to Sheffield for the blue riband World Snooker Championship.
Imagine how dirty the players would be on the player who misses a great chance for the 20th!!! @BarryHearn would love it😈
— Neil Robertson🌱 (@nr147) June 17, 2019