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Shoot Out

Holt wins Shoot Out to clinch maiden ranking title

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Michael Holt

Image credit: Getty Images

ByBen Snowball
23/02/2020 at 22:59 | Updated 23/02/2020 at 23:37
@BenSnowball

Michael Holt secured the first ranking title of his 24-year career with victory in the Snooker Shoot Out.

The 41-year-old picked up a cheque for £50,000 and grabbed the final spot for the Players Championship next week.

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Shoot Out

Holt celebrates Shoot Out victory

24/02/2020 AT 07:58

Holt won seven matches in Watford across four days, showing composure with breaks of 42 and 22 to see off China’s Zhou Yuelong at the final hurdle.

'The Hitman hits big!' - Holt downs Zhou in Shoot Out final

00:02:32

"I'm just really lucky," said Holt, who lost last year's final to Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

"I enjoy the format. It actually helps me because I’ve always stopped myself playing by thinking and it doesn’t give me time to think. So I can just play on my instinct and then play my best."

Sunday's evening session promised to whittle the remaining 16 players down to one as the single-frame, clock-evaporating spectacular reached its finale.

There was an unfamiliar line-up after fancied top 10 players Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams, Mark Selby and Kyren Wilson all suffered early exits.

And it was Holt who survived the final cull as he secured a first televised title and belatedly got his hands on silverware.

Holt: 'I’m just really lucky!'

00:02:28

SEMI-FINALS

Michael Holt moved within one victory of a first ranking title with a 59-16 victory over Yan Bingtao, reaching the Shoot Out final for a second consecutive year.

Zhou Yuelong, also without a ranking title, beat Lyu Haotian 44-33 as the clock ran out on his Chinese compatriot.

QUARTER-FINALS

Zhou Yuelong became the first player to reach the last four with a scrappy win over Mei Xi Wen, with nerves littering the quarter-final clashes as the £50,000 prize money loomed large.

An incredible sequence of misses littered Lyu Haotian’s narrow win over Anthony McGill, with the scoreboard locked at 37-33 for over three minutes.

Michael Holt came through against Ben Woollaston, while Yan Bingtao saw off Anthony Hamilton.

FOURTH ROUND

Shaun Murphy became the first casualty of the fourth round after losing a tense battle with 2017 champion Anthony McGill, leaving Yan Bingtao as the only top 20 player left in the tournament.

Yan promptly dispatched Craig Steadman to reach the last eight, but the performance of the round came from Chinese compatriot Zhou Yuelong.

Zhou was staring down defeat after opponent Billy Joe Castle notched 39 points, but the 22-year-old sent a magnificent long red home before sinking a memorable 77 break to progress.

Michael Holt, Ben Woollaston, Anthony Hamilton, Lyu Haotian and Mei Xi Wen were the other players to reach the last eight.

Shoot Out

Holt: 'I’m just really lucky!'

23/02/2020 AT 23:19
Shoot Out

'The Hitman hits big!' - Holt downs Zhou in Shoot Out final

23/02/2020 AT 23:09
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