Barry Hawkins Lifts Riga Open Title
World Number 8, Barry Hawkins, lifted the first Kreativ Dental Clinic European Tour event of the new snooker season.
Hawkins beat fellow Englishman Tom Ford 4-1 in the final of the Kapersky Labs Riga Open to pocket the 25,000 Euro first prize and put himself at the top of the European Tour Order of Merit.
It was the former World Championship finalists first tour victory for 16 moths after he won the Players Tour Championship in 2014.
The European Tour events are an intensive format with Hawkins having has to win 7 matches over 3 days in order to lift the title.
Ford, from Leicester, won the first frame of the match with a decent break of 67 before Hawkins levelled it in frame 2 with a break of 65. Frame 3 proved to be the old cliche, "the turning point" as Hawkins battled to win the frame on the colours.
Both the remaining frames then went the way of Hawkins who managed to keep in front with breaks of 57 and 62 respectively.
Hawkins said after the match, “It feels great to win my first tournament of the season, I had two months off and put my cue away. I made the most of the break and it seems to have paid off.
“Tom is a class player who scores well when he gets going so I was pleased to beat him. It was a strong field with a lot of good players. If I can keep this form up I’ll have chances to win more titles.”
The European Tour is a series of 6 events that take place over mainland Europe, taking snooker to new emerging markets and fans. At the end of the series the top 24 players on the Order of Merit compete for the Players Championship. In terms of new destinations World Snooker have just announced that Gibraltar will host a World Snooker event for the first time in December. This will be event 5 in the European Tour.
Riga Open Results (last 16 onwards only)
Ryan Day 4-1 Ken Doherty
Graeme Dott 4-1 Mark Allen
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Michael White
Alan McManus 4-1 Judd Trump
Matthew Selt 4-1 Shaun Murphy
Tom Ford 4-2 Rory McLeod
Ben Woollaston 4-2 Mark Williams
Liang Wenbo 4-0 Oliver Lines
Dott 4-0 Day
Hawkins 4-2 McManus
Ford 4-3 Selt
Woollaston 4-2 Liang
Hawkins 4-1 Dott
Ford 4-1 Woollaston
Hawkins 4-1 Ford
The next event on the calendar is the Shanghai Masters qualifiers and this is followed by the Paul Hunter Classic in Furth, Germany, the second event on the European Tour.
Image Credit: Worldsnooker.com