|Photo courtesy of JR Photos|
By: Erik Hjorleifson
The week of June 7 to 14th saw the 41st annual Canadian Snooker Championships take place at the Corner Bank in Scarborough, Ontario. To my knowledge this is the longest running tournament in Canada and has a very rich history boasting past champions such as Cliff Thorburn, Jim Wych, Kirk Stevens and Alain Robidoux. You couldn't have asked much more from the host venue this year with 8 brand new Schender Snooker tables on hand. Room owners John White and Jim Wych have shown great interest in reviving Snooker in Canada, they generously added $5000 to the prize fund, this was their first major Snooker event since opening in January,
The week began with the round robin stages and most of the tournament favourites advanced to the final 16 single knockout portion of the tournament. Players were placed in 8 groups of 5 with two groups of 4 players to make up the 38 player field. Three of the groups came down to the last match with Terry Davidson pulling off an upset 4-3 win against Jason Williams to leave Justin Kluznik out of the mix, and having the unfortunate fate of being the only player with 3 wins in the round robin not to advance.
Demos Zachariou almost pulled off an upset of his own falling 4-3 against Defending Champion Al Whitfield. A win for Demos would have let him advance to the redraw portion although it was a promising performance for the young player from Toronto. In one of the last matches of the round robin Jesse Piercey came back from 3 -0 down to win 4-3 and advance to the single elimination. It is nice to see the next generation of players getting into the mix and they will be the future of snooker in Canada.
In the final 16 portion of the redraw the #1 seeds from the round robin were drawn against the #2 seeds from each group. Phil Snache pulled off a minor upset against John Everekian and Derek Martin took out the very capable Jason Williams from Burlington Ontario. In the quarter finals Canadian snooker legend Tom Finstad was taken out by Floyd Ziegler 5-1. Another one of the tournament favourites Bob Chaperon advanced easily with a 5-1 win over Phil Snache. On the top half of the draw Derek Martin from Ottawa, Ontario was quietly moving along with a 5-2 win over Dean Furey and John White took out defending champion Alan Whitfield 5-3.
The semi-finals featured a titanic battle between two time Canadian Champion Floyd Ziegler and Bob Chaperon from Sudbury, Ontario who was coming off a win last week at the Richler Cup. Chaperon is the only other Canadian player in history besides Cliff Thorburn to win a world ranking Snooker event. This match was played at a very high standard and Ziegler came away with a 6-3 win.
John White had an excellent match against Derek Martin in the other half of the draw moving comfortably into the final 6-1. After a week long battle the field was down to 2 players and it was the homeroom favourite John White that was able to regain the crown for the second time, an astonishing 25 years after claiming his first. Oddly I took a look at the list of past champions and this was not the longest span between victories. Kirk Stevens had victories 30 years apart, Cliff Thorburn had victories 27 years apart and Alain Robidoux went 26 years between wins. Congratulations to John White on a victory well deserved!
Also a big congratulations to veteran champion Kristal McCleod from the maritimes who won the Senior Snooker.
1st John White $1750 + expenses to the world amateur championships
2nd Floyd Ziegler $1000 + expenses to the world amateur
3rd/4th Bob Chaperon $750
5th/8th Dean Furey $500
High Run Floyd Ziegler 120 $500
link to the draw http://cbsa.ca/16sRR-draw.php?event=107