Champion: Peter Gilchrist
Runner Up: Rob Hall
Peter Gilchrist took the first World Billiards title of the year, becoming Scottish Open champion at Styx in Kirkcaldy by defeating Rob Hall in the 90-minute final.
This victory for the Singaporean has also allowed him to narrowly regain World number one spot, having won five of the last seven tournaments on the circuit.
This year’s Scottish Open was a record field for this event, with 64 players starting out in the round-robin phase which comprised 16 groups of four. There was typical heavy scoring throughout the group stages from the top four seeds, with the World champion David Causier and Peter Sheehan achieving the top two draw positons going into the knockout stage, both of whom compiled five three-figure breaks each. Hall and Gilchrist also came through with a 100% win record.
Causier’s scoring reached another level in the last 16 stage as he compiled the highest break of the event, a superb 440, in his victory over England’s Chris Taylor. Meanwhile, having already eliminated Phil Johnson in the last 32, Gilchrist’s highest break of the weekend also came in this round as he compiled a 299 in defeating Jonathan Marwood by 712-174.
Gilchrist and Causier won by the biggest margins in the last 8, defeating Jason Goodwin and Nathan Mann by 700 and 875 respectively. By virtue of being in the same half of the knockout stage draw, both then met in the semi-finals in what was a repeat of November’s Grand Cuvee World Championship final in Singapore. In this re-match, reigning champion Causier could not produce the same level of scoring which had got him to this stage, while Gilchrist made the two biggest contributions of 251 and 152 to run out the winner by 594-291.
In the other half of the draw, Hall won comfortably in the last 32 and last 16 with wins over Paul Cowing (506-97) and Gary Norman (594-98) to set up a quarter final clash with Northern Ireland’s Christian Kirk. This proved to be a much closer affair but former World finalist Hall came through by 471-318.
The semi-final between Rob Hall and Peter Sheehan proved to be more one-sided than what may have been predicted, as two centuries and a 99 break from Hall along with several smaller contributions allowed him to dominate much of the table time in claiming 692-291 win. Sheehan’s run to the semi-final is his third consecutive appearance in this round, having also reached the last four of both the Singapore Open and World Championship late last year.
The final was a relatively low scoring affair, but breaks of 130 and 125 from Gilchrist helped pave the way to a 439-308 triumph, recapturing the Elden Cup which he last won in 2018.
In the Challenge Cup, Chris Achilles made the highest break of 82 in his first round match and continued this form throughout the event, claiming the title with a win over Stephen Kershaw in the final by 200-51.
Thanks go to Styx in Kirkcaldy for hosting the event, along with our team of officials who worked hard throughout the weekend. The circuit continues with the Welsh Open, which returns to the Terry Griffiths Matchroom in Llanelli on 11-12th March.
You can see a full list of the results & breaks here. For the video playlist from the event, please visit our YouTube gallery.