Fergal O'Brien

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Fergal O'Brien
Fergal O’Brien at Snooker German Masters (DerHexer) 2015-02-04 05.jpg
German Masters 2015
Born (1972-03-08) 8 March 1972 (age 45)
Dublin, Ireland
Sport country  Ireland
Nickname The Baby-Faced Assassin, Fearless Fergal
Professional 1991–
Highest ranking 9 (2000/01)
Current ranking 43 (as of 6 November 2017)
Career winnings £1,295,751[1]
Highest break 147 (2016 Championship League)
Century breaks 202[2]
Tournament wins
Ranking 1
Non-ranking 2

Fergal O'Brien (born 8 March 1972) is an Irish professional snooker player.

A member of snooker's main tour since turning professional in 1991, O'Brien has been ranked within the world's top 64 players since 1994, reaching his highest position, 9th, for the 2000/2001 season. He has won one ranking title - the 1999 British Open, where he defeated Anthony Hamilton 9–7 in the final - and reached two other major finals, notably in the 2001 Masters.


O'Brien is 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). 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 in 2001. After beating Mark Williams, Ken Doherty and Dave Harold, he lost in the final to Paul Hunter after leading 7–3. He has reached one further ranking final, and three semi-finals

O'Brien peaked at No. 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 No. 45, before beginning to recover.

O'Brien's best run at the World Championship is the quarter-final and 2005 he became the first player to beat John Parrott in a World Championship qualifier.

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.

Fergal O'Brien at 2015 German Masters

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.

As of the end of 2009 O'Brien had 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.

On 12 April 2017, O’Brien qualified for the 2017 World Snooker Championship after a record-breaking victory in the final qualifying round match against Dave Gilbert. The final frame set the record for the longest frame of the modern era, lasting 123 minutes and 41 seconds.[3]

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tourname 1991/
Ranking[4][nb 1] [nb 2] 192 100 42 38 36 23 20 11 9 16 23 33 41 44 46 37 24 31 47 37 34 36 31 27 40 45
Ranking tournaments
Riga Masters[nb 3] Tournament Not Held MR 2R LQ
China Championship Tournament Not Held NR QF
Paul Hunter Classic[nb 4] Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event 2R 2R
Indian Open Not Held 2R 1R NH LQ 2R
World Open[nb 5] LQ LQ LQ LQ QF 2R 2R 2R 4R 3R 2R 3R LQ 1R 2R RR RR LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ Not Held 1R LQ
European Masters[nb 6] LQ LQ 2R LQ LQ LQ Not Held 2R LQ 1R LQ LQ 2R NR Not Held LQ LQ
English Open Tournament Not Held 3R 1R
International Championship Not Held 1R 3R 2R 2R 1R LQ
Shanghai Masters Not Held 1R 1R LQ LQ 2R WR LQ QF LQ LQ 2R
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held LQ Tournament Not Held 3R
UK Championship LQ 1R 1R 3R LQ LQ 1R QF 1R QF 2R 1R 3R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R 3R 1R 2R 3R
Scottish Open[nb 7] NH 2R LQ LQ 2R LQ SF 3R 3R 2R 2R 1R LQ Not Held MR Not Held 2R
German Masters[nb 8] Not Held LQ LQ LQ NR Not Held LQ LQ LQ 1R 1R 1R LQ
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held Variant Format Event 4R
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held NR DNQ DNQ
Welsh Open LQ LQ 3R 3R 2R QF 4R 3R QF 2R QF LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ 1R 1R LQ 1R 1R 2R 1R 3R 3R
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not Held MR 1R
Players Championship[nb 9] Not Held DNQ 1R DNQ 2R DNQ DNQ DNQ
China Open[nb 10] Not Held NR LQ LQ 1R 1R Not Held LQ LQ LQ 1R 1R 1R LQ WR LQ 2R 1R LQ 1R
World Championship LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ 2R 1R QF 1R 1R LQ LQ 1R LQ 2R LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R
Non-ranking tournaments
Championship League Not Held RR A A A A A A RR RR A
World Seniors Championship A Not Held A A A A F 1R A A
Former ranking tournaments
Classic LQ Not Held
Strachan Open[nb 11] LQ MR NR Not Held
Dubai Classic[nb 12] LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R 1R Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Not Held Non-ranking 2R NR Not Held
Thailand Masters[nb 13] LQ 3R LQ LQ LQ QF 2R LQ LQ 2R QF NR Not Held NR Not Held
British Open LQ LQ LQ LQ 3R 1R 2R W 5R 2R 3R 3R 3R LQ Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event LQ LQ LQ NH NR Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Not Held NR LQ F 1R Not Held
Bahrain Championship Not Held LQ Not Held
Wuxi Classic[nb 14] Not held Non-ranking 2R 1R 1R Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open[nb 15] Not held NR Not held LQ LQ 2R 2R 2R Not Held
Former non-ranking tournaments
Malta Grand Prix Not Held A A A A A R SF Not Held
Champions Cup[nb 16] Not Held A A A A A RR A A Not Held
Scottish Masters A A A A A A A A 1R 1R LQ LQ Not Held
Irish Masters A A SF A A A QF A 1R 1R 1R Ranking Event NH SF Not Held
Irish Professional Championship SF 1R Tournament Not Held SF QF F Tournament Not Held
Former variant format tournaments
Shoot-Out Not Held 3R 2R 1R 1R 1R A Ranking
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
DQ disqualified from the tournament
NH / Not Held event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event event is/was a minor-ranking event.
  1. ^ From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
  4. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
  5. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix (1991/1992–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010), the LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
  6. ^ The event was called the European Open (1991/1992–1996/1997 and 2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
  7. ^ The event run under different names as International Open (1992/1993–1996/1997) and Players Championship (2003/2004)
  8. ^ The event run under different name as German Open (1995/1996–1997/1998)
  9. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013) and the Players Championship Grand Final (2013/2014–2015/2016)
  10. ^ The event run under different name as China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
  11. ^ The event run under different name as Strachan Challenge (1992/1993–1993/1994)
  12. ^ The event run under different names as Thailand Classic (1995/1996) and Asian Classic (1996/1997)
  13. ^ The event run under different names as Asian Open (1991/1992–1992/1993) and Thailand Open (1993/1994–1996/1997)
  14. ^ The event run under different name as Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  15. ^ The event run under different names as Australian Open (1994/1995) and Australian Masters (1995/1996)
  16. ^ The event run under different name as Charity Challenge (1994/1995–1998/1999)

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 event finals: 8 (2 titles, 6 runners-up)[edit]

Masters (0–1)
Premier League (0–0)
Other (2–5)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2001 Masters England Hunter, PaulPaul Hunter 9–10
Runner-up 2. 2007 Irish Professional Championship Republic of Ireland Doherty, KenKen Doherty 2–9
Runner-up 3. 2007 Irish Classic Republic of Ireland Morris, DavidDavid Morris 3–5
Runner-up 4. 2008 Irish Classic (2) Republic of Ireland Doherty, KenKen Doherty 2–5
Runner-up 5. 2009 Irish Classic (3) Northern Ireland Swail, JoeJoe Swail 0–5
Winner 1. 2010 Irish Classic Republic of Ireland Judge, MichaelMichael Judge 5–1
Winner 2. 2011 Irish Classic (2) Republic of Ireland Doherty, KenKen Doherty 5–2
Runner-up 6. 2015 World Seniors Championship Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams 1–2


  1. ^ "Career-total Statistics for Fergal O'Brien – Professional". CueTracker Snooker Results & Statistics Database. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Centuries". Pro Snooker Blog. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "World Snooker Championship: Fergal O'Brien wins longest frame in snooker history to qualify". BBC. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 

External links[edit]