English snooker players Peter Ebdon and Barry Hawkins will contest the best-of-seventeen frame final at the Goldfields Australian Open.
As Pro Snooker Blog announces, the second major tournament of the snooker calendar has produced two unexpected finalists in Peter Ebdon and Barry Hawkins, and the two players will contest what is only the second ranking tournament to be held in Australia: the Goldfields Open (played in Bendigo).
Barry Hawkins is relatively unknown outside of snooker circles. Hawkins was born in 1979 and he has never before reached the final of a major professional tournament. He finished the previous season ranked at number 22 in the world. Peter Ebdon is a player with a more distinguished career having previously been world champion. Ebdon was born in 1970 and he has won a total of none major titles. He has, however, been struggling for form over the past couple of seasons.
According to World Snooker, to reach his first big final, Hawkins defeated Xiao Guodong 5-1, Matthew Stevens 5-2, Matthew Selt 5-3, and in his semi-final, he overcame Mark Davis 6-4. In the semi-final Hawkins made the best break with a 91 clearance.
Ebdon's route to the final consisted of victories over Matthew Holt 5-4, Ding Junhui, also 5-4, Shaun Murphy 5-4, and in his semi-final, Ebdon enjoyed slightly more comfortable 6-2 win over Marco Fu. Although he lost, Fu made the only century break of the match in compiling a run of 108. Ebdon's best break was 82.
The final is played over 17 frames (the first player to secure 9 frames is the winner). The winner will secure a first-prize of around $76,000 and the runner-up will win approximately $31,000.
Given his previous track record, Ebdon will start the match as the favorite.