James Wattana Player Profile
James Wattana Stats Date of birth: January 17, 1970 Nationality: Thailand First turned professional: 1989 Highest ranking: 3 Ranking titles: 3 Triple Crown titles: 0 Crucible best: semi-final Masters appearances: 9 147 breaks: 3
By the time James Wattana turned professional in 1989, he had already made a significant name for himself.
Aged just 16, he beat Dennis Taylor, Steve Davis, and Terry Griffiths to capture the invitational Thailand Masters in 1986 before claiming the IBSF World Amateur Championship two years after.
The latter success helped him gain an invitation to compete on the main tour, and it didn’t take long for him to have an impact there either.
In one of his first tournaments, Wattana reached the final of the 1989 Asian Open in Bangkok – his run eventually ended by soon-to-be world champion Stephen Hendry.
During the next few years, he was a regular presence at the business end of several notable events.
These consistent performances resulted in a speedy rise up the rankings, culminating in a world-high of number three in 1994.
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Arguably his greatest triumphs came on home turf with back-to-back successes in the Thailand Open at the expense of Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan in 1994 and 1995 respectively.
The player known as Thai-phoon also beat Davis to land the lucrative World Matchplay crown in 1992.
Wattana came close to silverware in many other competitions around this time, including three runners-up finishes in a row at the British Open.
During his 1992 run at the Derby Assembly Rooms, Wattana famously compiled a 147 break on the same day that he learned his father had been shot dead back in Thailand.
A week later, he demonstrated remarkable mental fortitude by claiming a maiden ranking success at the Strachan Open.
Wattana also came close on a couple of occasions in the sport’s blue riband events.
He reached the final of the 1993 Masters where he again lost to Hendry, and a few months later featured at the semi-final stage of the World Championship – repeating that run in 1997.
By the end of the decade Wattana’s form began to decline, and although he stayed on the main tour until 2020 he rarely threatened again at the latter stages.
His legacy, however, is a strong one, with Wattana credited as being the leading player in first introducing the sport to a wider Asian market.
Ranking Event Victories
- 1992 Strachan Open
- 1994 Thailand Open
- 1995 Thailand Open
Other Notable Victories
- World Matchplay (1992)
- Thaland Masters (1986)
- Hong Kong Challenge (1990)
- Belgian Masters (1992)
Featured photo credit: WST
James Wattana Player Profile
SHQ Stars: How it works
|Rating||SHQ Stars||Career Requirements|
|Black||★★★★★★★||multiple world champion; 30+ ranking titles; career triple crown; world no.1 (at least 3)|
|Pink||★★★★★★||world champion; 10+ ranking titles; multiple winner of triple crown events; member of top 2; 15+ seasons in top 16 (at least 3)|
|Blue||★★★★★||winner of triple crown event; 5+ ranking titles; member of top 4; 12+ seasons in top 16 (at least 2)|
|Brown||★★★★||2+ ranking titles; member of top 8; triple crown event finalist; 8+ seasons in the top 16 (at least 2)|
|Green||★★★||ranking title; member of top 16 (at least 1)|
|Yellow||★★||member of top 64|