Jimmy White won the World Seniors Snooker Championship for a record fourth time at the Crucible Theatre on Sunday.
A 5-3 victory over fellow Londoner Alfie Burden helped him to regain the title in Sheffield as he reinforced his status as the most prolific winner on the World Seniors Snooker Tour.
White delighted his legion of supporters in the title-deciding showdown, holding off a late rally from his opponent and frequent practice partner.
The 61 year-old had undoubtedly been the player of the tournament, compiling a century break and a dozen further runs above 50 during his four victories.
In the final, the Whirlwind won a tight opening frame before Burden – participating in the competition for the first time – quickly restored parity.
White won the next three frames, an important streak that included a terrific break of 63 in the fourth frame, to move to within the brink of glory.
Burden, who had earlier produced a clinical display of power scoring to defeat Ben Hancorn 4-1 in the semi-finals, dug deep to hang in the contest.
But the 46 year-old couldn’t force a deciding frame, and a classy 84 contribution from White in the eighth frame secured the success.
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Victory for White helps erase the disappointment of missing out on the silverware during the 2021 and 2022 editions, when he was denied on each occasion in the final.
Indeed, this was the fifth consecutive appearance in the World Seniors Snooker Championship final for White, with his 2023 triumph adding to his earlier victories in 2020, 2019, and back in 2010.
Earlier on the final day at the Crucible Theatre, White produced a composed display to see off the erratic Tony Drago in last four.
By overcoming Burden in the final, it provides a fitting conclusion to what has been the former world number two’s finest season in years.
White twice reached the last 16 of main-tour ranking events during the 2022/23 campaign, and he also won four qualifying matches to participate at the venue stages of the UK Championship in York.
There was disappointment with an early defeat in the preliminary stages of last month’s World Championship.
However, overall his results were strong enough to earn him a fresh two-year professional card – marking the first time since 2017 that he won’t require an invitational card in order to compete.
White, who could receive an invite to the Champion of Champions, still has ambitions of challenging for trophies on the main tour.
But one thing is for certain – he’s the main man once again on the seniors circuit.
Featured photo credit: Monique Limbos