China Report From Canadian Bullit
No ordinary Joe! Xu Zhou, China
By Roving reporter, Bill ( Bullit ) Bradley on location in China
World #13 Joe Perry slowed down the Thai phoon to capture Asian Tour event # 3 and collect the top prize of 100,000 Rmb ( approximately 18,000 Cdn. $ ) along with valuable ranking points.
Perry knocked in breaks of 60, 51 and 66 en route to his 4-1 victory. Perry got by a pesky Tom Ford 4-3 in the semis while his opponent Thepchaiya Un-Nooh cruised past two time World Champion Mark Williams 4-1 to reach the final. 50,000 is headed back to Thailand while Ford and Williams both cashed out for 25,000 Rmb.
118 players entered the event with China’s entrants including the current IBSF Champion, 14 year old Yan Bingtao (first round loser ) while Zhou Yue Long ( 2013 IBSF champ ) made it to the ¼ finals.
17 year old Southpaw Yue Long knocked in breaks of 134, 130 and 119 along the way!
Un-Nooh had the tourney high break with a magnificent 136 in round 4 action against Craig Steadman. For good measure he also had breaks of 113, 109 and 107!
Bullit Bits After the tourney many players left directly for the 3 hour gao tie ( high speed train ) to Yu Shan, China for a huge pool event which runs from January 24-February 2 and features 300 snooker and pool players from near and far, including several Canadians and Americans. Corey Duel, actually entered the Xu Zhou event and went out 4-2 in first round action.
Neil Robertson headlines the pool event along with snooker star Tom Ford.
Tom Ford remembers London snooker star Levi Meiller, whom he competed against 20 odd years ago in the World Under 21 Snooker Championship in Malta. ( Ed note: Levi is a great snooker player and this writer wishes he would return to the baize.)
Players and officials alike asked me about Cliff Thorburn, Jim Wych and Kirk Stevens with entrant Ross Muir telling me his grandparents live in Vancouver and that Cliff and Kirk took him to Shooters Pool Room to hit some balls last summer when he was on vacation in Toronto.
It was nice to see Alfie Burden again as I first met Alfie in 1995 when I was at the Crucible in Sheffield for the World Championship. Alfie dropped off the main tour for a bit but captured the IBSF title a few years ago to regain his spot on the tour. Alfie lost to Tom Ford in ¼ final action but managed to knock in a break of 110 in his second round match. “ Say hello to Kirk and give him my best”, Alfie yelled at me as I was leaving the media room.
Barry Pinches also competed and narrowly missed moving onto the ¼ finals. Barry remembers John Bear as a fellow entrant in the 1989 World Amateur Snooker Championships, which Barry lost in the final to the original Thai Phoon, James Wattana!
This writer would like to express his thanks to the World Snooker staff for their hospitality and assistance during his visit to Xu Zhou, especially Lettice and Elaine.
I have been invited to visit the Chinese Snooker Training Academy in Beijing by a fellow journalist and hope to take him up on his offer when I am in Beijing for the China Open March 30 to April 5th, this year.
The reporters were impressed when I showed them Kirk’s 147 in the 1984 Benson and Hedges, but they gasped when they saw his white tuxedo! “ He still wears it around Toronto”, I replied.