Mark Selby recorded his 500th career century as he beat Barry Hawkins 3-1 in the Championship League Snooker Group Two final at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
Hawkins went a frame to the good in the final but Selby hit back with a 103 to record the latest milestone of his career. Breaks of 27 and 49 helped then helped the Leicester man take a 2-1 lead in the best of five and the world number one sealed his victory with a 52 clearance in the fourth.
“It is great to reach 500 centuries,” said Selby after the final. “Coming here is great match practice against the best players in the world and you’re earning as well. There’s another good two groups next week where I could have done with a bit more practice but it’s good to get through to the Winners’ Group.
“I started off okay but missed a green when I could have taken a good clearance out to win the first frame from behind.
“I made a good break in the second frame but after that Barry was in the balls and missed a couple which he wouldn’t really miss and if he doesn’t miss them he probably wins 3-1 but I picked up the pieces.”
Selby had raced to a 3-0 success over Ryan Day in his semi-final, while Hawkins overcame Kyren Wilson 3-1 in his last-four fixture.
Selby will now join Group One winner Zhou Yuelong in the Winners’ Group, which takes place at Ricoh Arena on March 28th and 29th.
Having finished fifth on the round robin group table, Anthony Hamilton will return to compete in group two along with Day, Wilson and Hawkins. They will be joined by Anthony McGill, Mark Allen and Ali Carter. Stephen Maguire was eliminated from the tournament. Neil Robertson withdraw for family reasons having played five of his six round robin group games. Matches featuring Robertson were therefore not considered on the group table.
Championship League Snooker is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete with matches broadcast on a host of betting websites.
Group Three commences at midday on Monday (January 8). Group fixtures and results can be found at www.championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk
Barry Hawkins 1–3 Mark Selby
74-45, 29-103 (Selby 103), 4-85, 47-73 (Selby 52)
Barry Hawkins 3-1 Kyren Wilson
59-44, 14-94 (Wilson 86), 91-8 (Hawkins 91), 74-35
Ryan Day 0-3 Mark Selby
0-101 (Selby 101), 1-71 (Selby 71), 30-65 (Selby 60)