Fergal O'Brien

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Fergal O'Brien
Fergal O'Brien.jpg
Born (1972-03-08) 8 March 1972 (age 42)
Sport country  Ireland
Nickname The Baby-Faced Assassin, Fearless Fergal
Professional 1991–
Highest ranking 9 (2000/01)
Current ranking 30 (as of 11 August 2014)
Career winnings £ 1,104,176[1]
Highest break 143 (Benson & Hedges Masters 2001
Century breaks 157[2]
Tournament wins
Ranking 1
Non-ranking 2

Fergal O'Brien (born 8 March 1972) is an Irish professional snooker player. He has won one ranking title and reached two other major finals, and spent three seasons as a top 16 player.


His greatest achievement was winning the British Open in 1999, beating Anthony Hamilton 9–7 in the final. Hamilton opened with two centuries, but O'Brien won five frames on the final black to defeat the Nottingham man.

O'Brien also came close to winning the Masters title, losing the 2001 final to Paul Hunter after leading 7–3. He has reached one further ranking final, and three semi-finals

O'Brien peaked at #9 in the rankings following his sole title, but nosedived after this. He narrowly retained his top 16 place for the 2001/2002 season, but dropped out a year later – and then out of the top 32 a year later. Three further falls down the rankings left him at #45, before beginning to recover.

O'Brien also holds the honour of being the only player in history to hit a century break in his very first frame played at the Crucible. Despite this, his best run at the World Championship was only reaching the quarter-final.

O'Brien started the 2007/2008 campaign in Shanghai where he had beaten Paul Davies and Barry Hawkins in qualifying rounds, however, he lost to Steve Davis in the first round. O'Brien also qualified for the Grand Prix but lost four of his group matches to finish 5th in his group ahead of only Graeme Dott.

After qualifying for the main draw of the 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy by beating Barry Pinches in a deciding frame, O'Brien went on to beat Dave Harold in the first round of the main draw. Victories over John Higgins (in a decider), Barry Hawkins and Ronnie O'Sullivan, before he reached the second ranking-event final of his career by beating Mark Allen by 6 frames to 3. He lost the final to Stephen Maguire, 5–9.

This run helped him return to the top 32 of the Snooker world rankings 2007/2008, but the early part of the 2008/2009 season proved disappointing, O'Brien not reaching the last sixteen of any of the first four tournaments.

He is also the only player to score a century in his first frame at the World Championships in the Crucible, which he achieved against Alan McManus in 1994 (though he lost the match 10–7 and did not qualify again until 1998), and the first player ever to beat John Parrott in a World Championship qualifier, in 2005. As of the end of 2009 O'Brien has compiled 101 competitive century breaks in his career.

He qualified for the Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Finals held in Galway but lost his Last 24 match 0-4 to Joe Perry.

Career finals[edit]

Ranking event finals: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

World Championship (0–0)
UK Championship (0–0)
Other (1–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1999 British Open England Hamilton, AnthonyAnthony Hamilton 9–7
Runner-up 1. 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy Scotland Maguire, StephenStephen Maguire 5–9

Non-ranking tournaments[edit]


  1. ^ "Prize Money - All-time, Professional". CueTracker - Snooker Database. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Centuries". Pro Snooker Blog. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 

External links[edit]