Michael Holt makes most of late call-up with victory in Snooker Shoot Out
Former Snooker Shoot Out champion Michael Holt made the most of his late call-up to make the final 32 of this year’s tournament in Leicester.
Holt, the 2020 champion who made a tournament-best break of 116 in his first-round victory over Lei Peifan, beat Robbie McGuigan 37-13 in the one-frame event despite owning up to his lack of match preparation.
“Life’s got in the way a little bit,” Nottingham-based Holt told Eurosport.
Do as I say not what I do. 😏 pic.twitter.com/jPYRmfdDX8
— Michael Holt (@hitmanholt) January 27, 2023
“I’ve been playing the least amount of snooker I’ve ever played in my life.
“I had a few hours when I got the call-up, but you just try your best.”
As well as winning the BetVictor Snooker Shoot Out three years ago, Holt finished runner-up in 2019 and has now won the most matches in the history of the tournament.
He said: “If you embrace the atmosphere and tournament you can enjoy it whatever happens.
“You’ve got to enjoy the chaos basically, and fortunately I have done in the past.”
Reanne Evans had become the first woman to win a match in the event by beating Stuart Bingham in the opening round on Thursday.
But Evans was instantly on the backfoot as Gary Wilson fluked a red to set up a 44 break, and the ‘Tyneside Terror’ wrapped up a comfortable 83-4 victory.
Moldovan Vladislav Gradinari, just 14, reached the last 32 with a 42-20 success over Victor Sarkis.
✨ "𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙖𝙞𝙧𝙮-𝙩𝙖𝙡𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙪𝙚𝙨" ✨
🇲🇩 14-year-old Vladislav Gradinari is through to the last 32 of the Snooker Shoot Out 🤩@WeAreWST pic.twitter.com/VLK773N2bL
— Eurosport (@eurosport) January 27, 2023
Another 14-year-old Riley Powell lost 38-2 to his fellow Welshman Daniel Wells.
Three-time world champion Mark Williams edged out Dean Young 45-41, while former Shoot Out winners Dominic Dale, Martin Gould and Michael White all progressed.
There were also victories for Belgium’s Julien Leclercq – who rattled in a 93 break – Ali Carter, Fergal O’Brien, Tom Ford, Liam Highfield, Dylan Emery and Jack Lisowski.
But Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, the 2019 champion, lost to fellow Thai Dechawat Poomjaeng 40-62, while Ben Mertens suffered defeat in the final seconds as Fan Zhengyi sank a decisive green.