|Mita / Sky World Masters
Brief History of the World Masters
A fantastic event sadly held only once which represented an attempt to create something like
a snooker equivalent of Wimbledon. It was
promoted by Barry Hearn and staged at the huge National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in January
1991. As well as the main men’s event there were women’s singles, men’s and
women’s doubles, mixed doubles and an under-16 event. There was daily
seven-hour television coverage on Sky TV who contributed the bulk of the
£1million prize fund.
event had an entry of 135 and included not just the top professionals but
leading amateurs from all around the world. It was a straight knockout with all
players starting from round one apart from 14 who played a preliminary round.
James Wattana got the event off to a great start with a maximum in his first
round match but sadly the cameras did not cover it, as it was not on one of the
main show tables. Tony Drago reached his first major final but Jimmy White
emerged as the champion and collected a massive £200,000.
men’s doubles, Stephen Hendry and Mike
Hallett who had win the last World Doubles title three years before defeated
the Canadian pairing of Jim Wych and Brady Gollan in the final. The
all-conquering Steve Davis / Tony Meo partnership was not renewed. Meo played
with his old mate Jimmy White while Davis
partnered Terry Griffiths but both pairs were eliminated at the last 16 stage.
Corr won a very competitive women’s singles event from a field of 40, beating
Stacey Hillyard 6-2 in the final and the women’s doubles went to Allison Fisher
and Stacey Hillyard. The latter got her revenge over Karen Corr who, with
Anne-Marie Farren picked up the runner-up prize.
Steve Davis and Allison Fisher were expected to do better than the did in the
singles but gained some compensation by winning the mixed doubles from Jimmy
White and Caroline Walch.
junior event was full of names who have since risen to the very top. John
Higgins beat Mark Williams in the final and Quinten Hann was a semi-finalist
with Ronnie O’Sullivan going out in the quarter-finals. Among others who have
since reached the top 16 were Matthew Stevens and David Gray.
Sky TV were unwilling or
unable to provide the same huge financial backing for a future event and no
sponsors could be found to provide the money necessary to repeat this event
which was enjoyed by players and public alike.
Roll Of Honour
||Mike Hallett & Stephen Hendry
||Brady Gollan & Jim Wych
||Allison Fisher & Stacey Hillyard
||Karen Corr & Anne-Marie Farren
||Steve Davis & Allison Fisher
||Jimmy White & Caroline Walch
||Mark J. Williams
||Round 1 v. Paul Dawkins
© Chris Turner 2008