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Mita / Sky World Masters
Invitation Event

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.
 
The main 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.
 
In the 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.
 
Karen 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.
 
Both 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.
 
The 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             
Event Winner
Runner Up Score 1st Prize
Men's Singles Jimmy White Tony Drago 10-6 £200,000
Men's Doubles Mike Hallett & Stephen Hendry Brady Gollan & Jim Wych   8-5 £50,000
Women's Singles Karen Corr Stacey Hillyard 6-2 £15,000
Women's Doubles Allison Fisher & Stacey Hillyard Karen Corr & Anne-Marie Farren 5-2 £10,000
Mixed Doubles Steve Davis & Allison Fisher Jimmy White & Caroline Walch 6-3 £15,000
Junior (Under-16) John Higgins Mark J. Williams 6-1 £5,000

Maximum Break
James Wattana Men's Singles Round 1 v. Paul Dawkins

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© Chris Turner 2008