Anthony McGill won the 2017 Snooker Shoot-Out after beating Xiao Guodong in the final at the Watford Coliseum on Sunday. McGill saw off Shaun Murphy in the last four to reach the final, while Guodong ended the fairytale story of amateur player Andy Hicks.
McGill also beat Mark King, Jack Lisowski and Anthony Hamilton en route to the final. Hicks came within a game of reaching the same stage but wasn't the only amateur who did himself proud in Watford. Steven Hallworth also beat some more established opponents to get through both the last-32 and last-16 stages.
As champion, McGill will receive £32,000, according to Live Snooker, while runner-up Xiao has earned half that fee.
Murphy was also slightly unflattering about the shootout meriting its place as a ranked event, but said he's happy enough to enjoy the moment and the rewards, per the same source:
Here are the results from Sunday's matches:
|2017 Snooker Shoot-Out|
|Stage||Player 1||Score||Player 2|
|Last 32||Zhang Yong||0-1||Andy Hicks|
|Last 32||Joe Swail||0-1||Jak Jones|
|Last 32||James Cahill||0-1||Ken Doherty|
|Last 32||Sam Craigie||0-1||Shaun Murphy|
|Last 32||Cao Yupeng||1-0||Jimmy Robertson|
|Last 32||David Grace||1-0||Dominic Dale|
|Last 32||Fergal O'Brien||1-0||Liam Highfield|
|Last 32||Luca Brecel||0-1||Anthony Hamilton|
|Last 32||Anthony McGill||1-0||Mark King|
|Last 32||Ashley Hugill||0-1||Michael Georgiou|
|Last 32||Xiao Guodong||1-0||Daniel Womersley|
|Last 32||Jack Lisowski||1-0||Eden Sharav|
|Last 32||Darryl Hill||0-1||Li Hang|
|Last 32||Alfie Burden||0-1||David Gilbert|
|Last 32||Daniel Wells||0-1||Steven Hallworth|
|Last 32||Ross Muir||1-0||Jimmy White|
|Last 16||Anthony Hamilton||1-0||Ross Muir|
|Last 16||Andy Hicks||1-0||Michael Georgiou|
|Last 16||Shaun Murphy||1-0||Jak Jones|
|Last 16||Jack Lisowski||0-1||Anthony McGill|
|Last 16||Xiao Guodong||1-0||Ken Doherty|
|Last 16||Cao Yupeng||0-1||David Grace|
|Last 16||Fergal O'Brien||0-1||David Gilbert|
|Last 16||Li Hang||0-1||Steven Hallworth|
|Quarter-Final||Xiao Guodong||1-0||David Gilbert|
|Quarter-Final||Anthony Hamilton||0-1||Anthony McGill|
|Quarter-Final||Shaun Murphy||1-0||David Grace|
|Quarter-Final||Andy Hicks||1-0||Steven Hallworth|
|Semi-Final||Xiao Guodong||1-0||Andy Hicks|
|Semi-Final||Anthony McGill||1-0||Shaun Murphy|
|Final||Anthony McGill||1-0||Xiao Guodong|
Hallworth reached the last 16 only after beating Daniel Wells despite the latter producing some exquisite shots. One such shot saw him sink this red into the corner bag, per World Snooker:
Wells had Hallworth on the ropes early, but the 21-year-old rallied well and made the most of his chance when it came. His reward was a place in an enticing draw for the last 16:
Hallworth's next big challenge involved beating Li Hang in order to progress to the last eight. Hallworth met the challenge well, again pulling off some spectacular shots.
The most notable of those shots was this double that involved kissing the red off the cushion and counting on the rebound carrying it into the middle pocket on the other side. Hallworth managed it with consummate ease:
The amateur ended up putting 50 on the board to set up a quarter-final clash with Andy Hicks. The latter sent Mark Williams packing on Saturday and had already beaten Zhang Yong and Michael Georgiou during today's session.
Hicks against Hallworth was one of the standout matches of an exciting quarter-final draw, per Live Snooker:
Another intriguing match pitted Xiao against David Murphy. The former had earned his place in the last eight by beating veteran Ken Doherty in the previous round.
It took this impressive break for Xiao to get past 47-year-old Doherty:
From brilliant to controversial, Xiao only saw off Gilbert after escaping what should have been a time foul. Inexplicably, the referee appeared distracted by the crowd in the Watford Coliseum and missed the clock running down on Xiao.
Relaying pictures from ITV 4, Live Snooker provided footage of the contentious moment:
Xiao's win preceded McGill beating Anthony Hamilton for a place in the semi-final, while Murphy also made it through after some fantastic work at the table.
Murphy was down by six when he drilled in this red to get started:
The Magician had 14 on the board when he made easy work of this tricky long pot:
Those shots were among the highlights of a 76-14 win that sent out an ominous signal to the rest Murphy was in the form to win this tournament.
Hicks and Hallworth then wrapped up the last eight with their all-amateur match. Surprisingly, considering the rapid-fire format, this was a cagey affair with both players using the clock and opting for safety when they could.
Hallworth was up by four at 17-13 when he bounced a red off the edge of the corner pocket. It was the opportunity Hicks needed.
Just as he did against Williams on Saturday, Hicks seized his chance, taking 11 more points before playing for time to kill the clock and go through.
Live Snooker confirmed what were an enticing pair of semi-final matches, with Murphy against McGill the main draw:
Hicks was first up in the last four, though, and thought he led left nothing for Xiao to hit after hiding the cue ball behind the green off his break. However, Xiao dropped a red into the corner from an acute angle to start a break that would reach 59 by the time he was through.
Xiao forced another opening when he settled right behind the pink on a superb safety shot. Hicks then couldn't help leaving a red on, one Xiao took before dropping yellow on frame ball to reach the final.
The other semi-final was a thrilling affair that saw Murphy in trouble early. He was 16-8 ahead when the white rolled into the top-corner pocket.
McGill took advantage to build a 46-16 lead before the Magician battled back. Murphy cleaned up the red and took down yellow before fatally failing to drop the green into the middle.
It was the final opening McGill needed to book his place in the final.
McGill and Xiao traded safety shots for the first two and a half minutes of the final. McGill came closest to breaking the deadlock, but his attempt to pot a red into the bottom saw the ball cannon off the table.
Xiao took control but needed to drop green and get back on a red to increase the pressure. He did both but made a mess of his next attempt to move from green back to the reds.
It meant it was time for safe play again with just a 19-0 lead and five minutes still on the clock. McGill got the advantage he needed when he nudged the cue ball off the top cushion and into a red for his first pot.
The rebound placed the Scotsman on black and at the right end of the table to put a decisive scoring run together. He later drilled home the green to move 37-19 ahead and get back down the table.
Dropping the pink then the black twice padded McGill's score and made him a worthy winner.