2002 LG Cup (snooker)

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LG Cup
Tournament information
Dates5–13 October 2002
VenueGuild Hall
CityPreston
CountryEngland
Organisation(s)World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
FormatRanking event
Total prize fund£597,200
Winner's share£82,500
Highest breakEngland Stephen Lee (141)
Final
ChampionScotland Chris Small
Runner-upScotland Alan McManus
Score9–5
2001
2003

The 2002 LG Cup was the 2002 edition of the professional Grand Prix snooker tournament and was held from 5 to 13 October 2002 at the Guild Hall in Preston, Lancashire, England. It was the second year the event was known as the LG Cup and the 21st overall staging of the competition. The tournament was the first of eight World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) ranking events in the 2002/2003 season and it was televised in the United Kingdom on the BBC.

150/1 outsider Chris Small, who suffers from the spinal condition ankylosing spondylitis, won the tournament defeating fellow Scot Alan McManus nine frames to five (9–5) in the final. It was Small's first major ranking tournament title of his career. In the semi-finals Small beat Jimmy Michie 6–2 and McManus defeated six-time world champion Steve Davis 6–2. Stephen Lee compiled the tournament's highest break of a 141 total clearance in his second round match against Ryan Day. The tournament preceded the second ranking event of the season, the British Open.

Tournament summary[edit]

Background[edit]

The tournament was created as the Professional Players Tournament in 1982 by the snooker governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), to provide another ranking event. It was renamed the Grand Prix for the 1984 event until 2001, when it was called the LG Cup, before reverting to the Grand Prix in 2004.[1] The 2002 tournament was held at the Guild Hall in Preston, Lancashire between 5 and 13 October. It was the first of eight WPBSA ranking events in the 2002/2003 snooker season and the next event following last season's World Championship,[2] which was won by Peter Ebdon, his first victory in the event and the world number 3.[3] Stephen Lee won the previous year's running of the tournament in a nine frames to four victory (9–4) over Ebdon.[4] The event preceded the second ranking tournament of the season, the British Open.[2] Sponsored by the Korean multinational conglomerate LG for the second year in a row,[1] it had a prize fund of £597,200,[5] and was broadcast on the BBC.[2]

Qualifying[edit]

The qualifying rounds were played between players on the main tour ranked 33 and lower for one of 32 places in the final stage at Pontin's Snooker Centre in Prestatyn, Wales. The matches were best-of-nine frames until the semi-finals.[6] The successful qualifiers included the likes of Ryan Day, Shokat Ali, Ian McCulloch, Jimmy Michie, Robin Hull, Patrick Wallace and Jamie Burnett.[6]

Round one[edit]

In round one the 16 qualifiers faced members of the top 32, but not including the top 16 seeds.[6] Day, both the Snooker Writers Association and the World Snooker Newcomer of the Year, defeated Ali Carter 5–3. Day quickly built a 3–0 lead but Carter got the score back to 3–2 with breaks of 53 and 65 before Day won the match with a 83 break in frame six and a clearance in the eighth.[7] Anthony Davies whitewashed Marcus Campbell with runs of 84, 85 and 72 to set-up a second-round match with world number 4 John Higgins.[8] Ali, Pakistan's number one ranked player, compiled breaks of 64, 51, 95 and 98 in a 5–1 victory over 1991 world champion John Parrott.[9] Fergal O'Brien edged out Nick Dyson 5–3, while Tony Drago and Gerard Greene defeated Gary Wilkinson and Dominic Dale respectively by the same scoreline.[7] Drew Henry was also beaten by exactly the same scoreline by Michael Holt,[7] and Anthony Hamilton overcame Ian McCulloch to win 5–4 in a game that concluded past midnight on 5 October after a final frame safety exchange on the pink ball.[10]

Former World Matchplay champion James Wattana defeated Hull 5–4, coming from 4–0 behind to win four consecutive frames from runs of 56, 51 and 43 to force a final frame decider. Wattana won it after Hull left a red ball in the jaws of a corner pocket.[11] Michael Judge whitewashed Dave Finbow 5–0, a match in which Judge's highest break was 48 and Finbow conceded the fifth frame despite being 49 points behind with 59 remaining on the table.[12] Six-time world champion Steve Davis executed the competition's third whitewash with a 5–0 victory over the world number 46 Jamie Burnett to set up a match with fellow Londoner Jimmy White for the first time in a ranking tournament since the semi-finals of the 1995 International Open.[13] World number 29 Chris Small, who suffers from the spinal condition ankylosing spondylitis, beat Mark Davis 5–2.[13] Small led Mark Davis 4–0 until the latter took two frames in a row. Small responded to claim frame seven and win the match.[14] Scottish Open runner-up David Gray won 5–1 against Atthasit Mahitthi, while Patrick Wallace came from 2–0 and 4–3 behind to beat Dave Harold 5–4 in a 4-hour and 34 minute game. That delayed Nigel Bond's match with Brian Morgan by two hours, which Bond won 5–1.[9] In the last game of round one, Michie beat Marco Fu 5–1.[2]

Round two[edit]

The winners of round 1 went through to face members of the top 16.[6] Day's run ended, being defeated 5–4 by Lee, who achieved a 141 total clearance (the highest break of the tournament) and Day compiled a 57 break to force a final frame decider. A break of 52 that commenced with a fluked red ball won Lee the match.[9] Higgins beat Davies in a 5–0 whitewash during which he missed an opportunity to achieve a maximum break in frame five,[15] as he outscored Davies 361–75.[16] Greene produced breaks of 61 and 78 in his 5–1 victory over world number 12 Graeme Dott.[15] Ronnie O'Sullivan produced runs of 85, 56, 52 and 43 to beat Hamilton 5–2 in 85 minutes but he expressed his displeasure at not achieving a sixth career maximum break because of a lack of concentration.[17] Ali missed a straightforward red ball while on 47 points in the opening frame of his 5–0 whitewash to McManus.[18] Stephen Hendry, the seven-time world champion, opened his match with Drago with the first two frames in his possession. Drago made runs of 32 and 36 to clinch frame three but Hendry won the following three with breaks of 52, 56 and 65 for the victory.[19]

O'Brien assumed a 2–0 advantage with one run of 128 and his opponent Ebdon responded with a 101 break. Further runs of 103, 45 and 53 put Ebdon into the lead but O'Brien won the game 5–4 with victories in frame eight and the 41-minute ninth. In the match between Paul Hunter and Wattana, Hunter led 4–0 before Wattana won three successive frames. Hunter won frame eight and the match with a score of 91–8.[20] Mark Williams led Judge 2–0 before Judge took three frames in a row to be 3–2 in front. Williams made a match-high break of 60 en route to winning 5–3 and his 39th career victory opening tournament game. Holt overcame Quinten Hann 5–4 in a quarter of an hour battle on the final pink and black balls in the deciding frame of their match.[21] White came from 3–1 behind to tie Davis at 3–3 with a break of 72. Both players shared the next two frames to force a final frame decider. Leading 49–16 with five un-potted red balls on the table, Davis fluked one of them and went on to produce a break of 21 to win the match that ran past midnight due to other fixtures running longer than expected.[22]

On the second table, world number 16 Joe Perry lost 2–5 to Small despite the latter's heavy back strain.[22] World number 5 and 1997 world champion Ken Doherty was the highest ranked player to lose in the round when Wallace beat him 5–3, and dedicated the victory to his practice partner and former Northern Ireland Amateur Championship runner-up Barry McNamee who died when a car struck him that year.[23] Joe Swail was another top 16 seed to be eliminated in round two when he lost 5–3 to Bond despite leading 3–1 midway through.[24] Of the other two second round matches, Matthew Stevens lost 1–5 to Gray and Michie won 5–2 against the world number 11 Mark King.[25]

Round three[edit]

In the third round Lee led McManus 3–1 but the latter took four straight frames with a break of 105 to force a final frame decider. Lee missed the final yellow ball shot and he potted the cue ball to give McManus the penalty points he required to return to contention and the latter made a 51 clearance to win 5–4.[26] Greene took his fifth victory of the season when he beat O'Brien by the same scoreline.[25] Small produced breaks of 58, 71 and 100 as he compiled 300 unanswered points against Higgins who won frame five to prevent a whitewash but Small took the sixth to claim a 5–1 victory. Holt took a 3–0 lead over O'Sullivan who responded to claim five consecutive frames for a 5–3 victory to avoid elimination.[27]

Hunter led Hendry 3–1 with breaks of 112 and 66 and to 4–2 when Hendry achieved a 67 break in frame six before Hunter clinched the game 5–3 in a disjointed eighth frame.[28] Michie edged out Wallace 5–4 to enter his first ranking professional tournament quarter-final since 1999.[29] Similarly, Davis took the opening three frames of a match against Williams while the latter claimed frame four. Davis produced a run of 69 in frame five and he then compiled a match-winning 48 in the sixth frame for a final score of 5–1 in his favour. Davis remarked of his performance after the match, "It's the best I've played for years."[30] In the final third round match Gray came from 4–2 behind to beat Bond 5–3.[31]

Quarter-finals[edit]

In the quarter-finals Small defeated O'Sullivan 5–1 to reach his first semi-final since the 1998 tournament. Small produced breaks of 81, 44, 71 and 137, which gave him a 4–0 lead at the mid-session interval. O'Sullivan prevented the first whitewash of his career since the 1997 China International with victory in a disjointed frame five but Small won the match with a 78 clearance in the sixth.[32] Greene compiled breaks of 66 and 77 to lead Michie 2–0. After Michie won frame three, Greene took the following two to hold a 4–1 advantage. Michie responded with breaks of 66 and 98 to force a final frame decider, which he won on a long-range pink ball shot for a 5–4 scoreline.[33]

Davis overcame Hunter 5–4 in a tightly contested match that lasted 3 hours and 32 minutes. Coming from 3–0 and 4–2 behind, Davis was aided by runs of 47, 105 and 52 to bring the game to a final frame decider. With one red ball left on the table in frame nine, Hunter missed it five times from a snookered position and Davis accrued 21 points in fouls from Hunter.[34] Davis won the 47-minute concluding frame and the match with a score of 85–40.[35] McManus defeated Gray 5–3 in a match which Gray's highest break was 98. McManus came from 3–1 down to produce runs of 76, 94 and 46 and won a untidy eighth frame to progress into his 35th career semi-final.[36]

Semi-finals[edit]

The semi-finals on 12 October were best-of-11 frames.[6] Small reached the first major ranking final of his career when he beat Michie 6–2.[37] Small began strongly with the first four frames, which included a 41-minute frame two that Michie lost because of a tight battle on the pink ball and Small then produced a break of 77 in the third.[38] After the mid-session interval, Michie won frames five and six but runs of 36, 37, 43 and 39 clinched the match for Small, who spoke of his delight to reach the final, "When I was a youngster I watched the snooker on television and thought how great it must be to play in a major final. Now I've done it at last and I'm determined to enjoy it. It's a dream come true and I can't wait."[37]

The other semi-final match saw McManus reach his 15th career final and he prevented Davis from entering his 99th career final with a 6–4 victory in a match that lasted almost five hours. McManus won three frames on the pink ball and achieved breaks of 78, 50 and 76 to seal the victory.[39] The eighth frame had a male spectator ejected from the Preston Guild Hall for audible snoring and it was twice restarted because of separate safety shot stalemates.[40] After the game, McManus called it "one of the hardest matches of my life" after he did not pot a single ball because of extended table play from Davis,[40] "Halfway through I felt like a couldn't pot a ball so I'm pleased to have got through. I think it will be a different game in the final because Chris goes for his shots. It's a big match for both of us."[39]

Final[edit]

In the all-Scottish best-of-17 final on 13 October, 150/1 outsider Small defeated McManus 9–5 in a 6-hour and 13 minute match to win the first major ranking tournament title of his career at the age of 29.[41][42] Small earned £82,500 for the win.[43] The victory, according to Phil Yates of The Times, made Small possibly, "one of the most unlikely winners of a leading competition for years" because of his reputation of being a journeyman and him requiring monthly injections to reduce the effect of his spinal condition.[41]

In the first session of the final, McManus took an early 3–1 lead with successive breaks of 62 and 73. Small then reduced McManus' lead by one frame with a half century break before McManus produced a 62 run to hold a 4–2 advantage. Small later produced a 69 run in frame seven and won the eighth to end the first session tied at 4–4.[44] When play resumed in the second session, a break of 62 from Small after McManus missed a mid-range red ball to a top corner pocket for the lead. More safety errors from McManus gave Small a chance to produce runs of 47 and 27 in frame ten as the former did not record a single point in this period. But McManus took the eleventh frame when Small could not pot the last red ball on the table along the top cushion. Small took the next three frames to win the match and the tournament. He became the first non-top 16 ranked player to win a ranking tournament since O'Brien at the 1999 British Open.[45]

After the match, Small dedicated his victory to his grandmother who died three years prior, "I held her hand in hospital the day before she died and when she asked me to win a tournament for her one day, I promised her I would. Now I've done it, so I just hope she was up there looking down and watching my victory."[46] He also said it felt "like a dream",[47] while also discussing the effects of his spinal condition, and used the winnings to pay the mortgage on his house.[48] McManus said he was pleased for Small and did not believe his game with Davis wore him out despite appearing visibly tired, "But from my point of view it was an anti-climax. It was not a great match but Chris was solid and if I left anything sticking out he knocked it in. But I'm delighted for him, he's a lovely lad and he deserves this victory after all he's been through."[48]

Main draw[edit]

[2][6][49]

  Last 48
Best of 9 frames
Last 32
Best of 9 frames
Last 16
Best of 9 frames
Quarter-Finals
Best of 9 frames
Semi-Finals
Best of 11 frames
Final
Best of 17 frames
                                                         
31 England Ali Carter 3     1 England Stephen Lee 5  
Wales Ryan Day 5     Wales Ryan Day 4  
  1 England Stephen Lee 4  
  15 Scotland Alan McManus 5  
18 England John Parrott 1 15 Scotland Alan McManus 5
34 Pakistan Shokat Ali 5     34 Pakistan Shokat Ali 0  
  15 Scotland Alan McManus 5  
  19 England David Gray 3  
30 England Nigel Bond 5     16 Northern Ireland Joe Swail 3  
42 England Brian Morgan 1     30 England Nigel Bond 5  
  30 England Nigel Bond 4
  19 England David Gray 5  
19 England David Gray 5 8 Wales Matthew Stevens 1
Thailand Atthasit Mahitthi 1     19 England David Gray 5  
  15 Scotland Alan McManus 6  
  25 England Steve Davis 4  
28 Malta Tony Drago 5     7 Scotland Stephen Hendry 5  
46 England Gary Wilkinson 3     28 Malta Tony Drago 1  
  7 Scotland Stephen Hendry 3
  9 England Paul Hunter 5  
32 Thailand James Wattana 5 9 England Paul Hunter 5
39 Finland Robin Hull 4     32 Thailand James Wattana 3  
  9 England Paul Hunter 4
  25 England Steve Davis 5  
25 England Steve Davis 5     10 England Jimmy White 4  
44 Scotland Jamie Burnett 4     25 England Steve Davis 5  
  25 England Steve Davis 5
  4 Wales Mark Williams 1  
24 Republic of Ireland Michael Judge 5 4 Wales Mark Williams 5
49 England Dave Finbow 0     24 Republic of Ireland Michael Judge 3  
15 Scotland Alan McManus 5
29 Scotland Chris Small 9
17 England Anthony Hamilton 5     3 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 5  
43 England Ian McCulloch 4     17 England Anthony Hamilton 2  
  3 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 5  
  35 England Michael Holt 3  
22 Scotland Drew Henry 3 14 Australia Quinten Hann 4
35 England Michael Holt 5     35 England Michael Holt 5  
  3 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 1  
  29 Scotland Chris Small 5  
29 Scotland Chris Small 5     13 England Joe Perry 2  
37 England Mark Davis 2     29 Scotland Chris Small 5  
  29 Scotland Chris Small 5
  5 Scotland John Higgins 1  
26 Wales Anthony Davies 5 5 Scotland John Higgins 5
41 Scotland Marcus Campbell 0     26 Wales Anthony Davies 0  
  29 Scotland Chris Small 6
  55 England Jimmy Michie 2  
21 England Dave Harold 4     6 Republic of Ireland Ken Doherty 3  
36 Northern Ireland Patrick Wallace 5     36 Northern Ireland Patrick Wallace 5  
  36 Northern Ireland Patrick Wallace 4
  55 England Jimmy Michie 5  
27 Hong Kong Marco Fu 2 11 England Mark King 2
55 England Jimmy Michie 5     55 England Jimmy Michie 5  
  55 England Jimmy Michie 5
  63 Northern Ireland Gerard Greene 4  
20 Wales Dominic Dale 3     12 Scotland Graeme Dott 1  
63 Northern Ireland Gerard Greene 5     63 Northern Ireland Gerard Greene 5  
  63 Northern Ireland Gerard Greene 5
  23 Republic of Ireland Fergal O'Brien 4  
23 Republic of Ireland Fergal O'Brien 5 2 England Peter Ebdon 4
62 England Nick Dyson 3     23 Republic of Ireland Fergal O'Brien 5  

Score of the final[edit]

Final: Best of 17 frames. Referee: Wales Paul Collier.
Guild Hall, Preston, England, 13 October 2002.[2]
Alan McManus (15)
 Scotland
5–9 Chris Small (29)
 Scotland
Afternoon: 30–81, 94–34, 68–19 (62), 78–15 (73), 6–75 (51), 75–24 (62), 0–69 (69), 52–54
Evening: 0–94 (62), 0–75, 58–55, 48–76, 31–65 (65), 28–63
73 Highest break 69
0 Century breaks 0
3 50+ breaks 4

Qualifying[edit]

[6]

Round 1[edit]

Best of 9 frames

Round 2–4[edit]

  Round 2
Best of 9 frames
  Round 3
Best of 9 frames
  Round 4
Best of 9 frames
Wales Ryan Day 5   Belgium Bjorn Haneveer 3   England Jonathan Birch 4
Canada Alain Robidoux 4   Wales Ryan Day 5   Wales Ryan Day 5
England Peter Lines 2   England Andy Hicks 1   Pakistan Shokat Ali 5
England Rod Lawler 5   England Rod Lawler 5   England Rod Lawler 2
Australia Johl Younger 2   England Stuart Pettman 4   England Brian Morgan 5
England Jamie Cope 5   England Jamie Cope 5   England Jamie Cope 4
England Paul Wykes 1   England Nick Walker 4   Northern Ireland Terry Murphy 2
Thailand Atthasit Mahitthi 5   Thailand Atthasit Mahitthi 5   Thailand Atthasit Mahitthi 5
England David Gilbert 3   England Bradley Jones 1   England Gary Wilkinson 5
Republic of Ireland Colm Gilcreest 5   Republic of Ireland Colm Gilcreest 5   Republic of Ireland Colm Gilcreest 3
Canada Bob Chaperon 2   Scotland Stephen Maguire 2   Finland Robin Hull 5
Thailand Kwan Poomjang 5   Thailand Kwan Poomjang 5   Thailand Kwan Poomjang 2
England Shaun Murphy 2   England Barry Pinches 5   Scotland Jamie Burnett 5
Netherlands Stefan Mazrocis 5   Netherlands Stefan Mazrocis 3   England Barry Pinches 4
England Paul Davison 5   England Dave Finbow 5   England David Roe 4
Thailand Phaitoon Phonbun 3   England Paul Davison 4   England Dave Finbow 5
Iceland Kristján Helgason 5   England Stuart Bingham 5   England Ian McCulloch 5
China Pang Weiguo 2   Iceland Kristján Helgason 1   England Stuart Bingham 4
England Jimmy Robertson 1   England Mike Dunn 5   England Michael Holt 5
England Jason Weston 5   England Jason Weston 3   England Mike Dunn 2
Scotland Martin Dziewialtowski 5   England Barry Hawkins 4   England Mark Davis 5
Wales David John 2   Scotland Martin Dziewialtowski 5   Scotland Martin Dziewialtowski 3
England Simon Bedford 1   England Mark Selby 4   Scotland Marcus Campbell 5
Scotland David McLellan 5   Scotland David McLellan 5   Scotland David McLellan 3
England Munraj Pal 2   Wales Darren Morgan 5   Northern Ireland Patrick Wallace 5
England Wayne Brown 5   England Wayne Brown 3   Wales Darren Morgan 4
Republic of Ireland Leo Fernandez 5   England Jimmy Michie 5   Scotland Billy Snaddon 3
England Rory McLeod 4   Republic of Ireland Leo Fernandez 2   England Jimmy Michie 5
Scotland Euan Henderson 2   Northern Ireland Gerard Greene 5   England Robert Milkins 4
England Sean Storey 5   England Sean Storey 4   Northern Ireland Gerard Greene 5
Wales Lee Walker 3   England Nick Dyson 5   England Alfie Burden 1
England Adrian Gunnell 5   England Adrian Gunnell 2   England Nick Dyson 5

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