An unusual few days for Neil Robertson concluded with a 3-2 victory over Ryan Day in the first group of the Championship League in Leicester on Tuesday.
The Australian generated headlines for comical reasons at the end of last week when a travelling mishap resulted in him having to pull out of the World Open qualifiers.
Robertson was supposed to play his preliminary round fixture at the Barnsley Metrodome but somehow ended up driving in the direction of a little-known village of Barnsley in Gloucestershire.
The 37 year-old managed to reach Leicester, though, without any problems on Monday for the start of this season’s Championship League and if Robertson knows his way around one thing, it’s a snooker table.
After winning two and losing two of his opening round-robin ties on the opening day, the former world number one beat Jack Lisowski and Luca Brecel with 3-1 scorelines to comfortably reach the semi-finals.
In the last four, Robertson compiled breaks of 111, 59, and 50 to see off the challenge of Mark Selby in a decider.
Selby, from Leicester, had previously poked fun at the Melbourne man on Twitter by offering advice on how to safely get to his hometown.
Day was Robertson’s opponent in the final after ending Barry Hawkins’ 100% in the semi-finals.
Although the Welshman got off to the perfect start by winning the opening couple of frames with the aid of an excellent 126 century break, Robertson responded by claiming the next three frames for success.
Nice to bounce back after the silliness earlier in the week and win group 1 of the championship league today! See you guys in Crawley next week!😃👊🏻 🗺 🧭
— Neil Robertson🌱 (@nr147) October 8, 2019
The 2010 world champion advances to March’s Winners’ Group while Day, Selby, Hawkins, and fifth placed Lisowski will have another crack in the next two days during Group 2.
Belgium’s Brecel and Jimmy Robertson could only manage two wins from their six league encounters and finished in the bottom two positions to duly exit the competition.
Stuart Bingham, Kyren Wilson, and Gary Wilson enter Group 2 on Wednesday.