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Tournaments: 1997/98: Ranking: Grand Prix | UK | German | Welsh | Scottish | Thailand | British | World

German Open 1997

Atlantis-Rhein-Hotel, Bingen am Rhein, Germany (Dec 8-14, 1997)
WPBSA ranking tournament #3 (280,000 purse, 50,000 first prize)

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"The Wizard of Wishaw," John Higgins, won his second German Open title, his seventh ranking title overall, and his first of the season by beating John Parrott 9-4 in the final. He is rewarded with 50,000 for his efforts and becomes the second player this season to surpass 100,000 in earnings. Ronnie O'Sullivan was the first. Parrott gets 26,000 for his runner-up position and Stephen Hendry gets the 3,000 highest break prize for his 130 total clearance in the quarter-final loss to Parrott.

Higgins was always in control in this final. His 5-3 lead after the first session was a bit fortunate though, as he fluked the last two reds in the final frame and eventually clinched it on the black. Parrott's only consolation was that he had made the highest break of the session, a 102 in an earlier frame. After the interval it was the Liverpudlian who got the first chance, but he missed an easy pink and Higgins stepped in with a well-controlled 80 break. Parrott was also ahead in the second frame of the session, with a 49 break, but the Scot eventually won that frame as well, with the aid of a 52. He also won the next to lead 8-3. Parrott stopped the rot to make it 8-4 before Higgins closed the match in style with a 105. The Scot is now 5-3 up in career meetings with Parrott and moves back up to No.2 in the Embassy rankings.

Semi-finals

John Higgins reached his second ranking final of the year by beating his long-time rival Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-4 in the semis.

Parrott continued to make waves overseas as he beat world champion Ken Doherty 6-4 to reach yet another final outside Britain. He has previously won titles in eight countries.

The match was a very scrappy affair and they almost looked like club players at some stages. They both improved towards the end of the match though, and Parrott was clearly the best and certainly deserved his victory.

Quarter-finals

John Higgins scraped through to the semi-finals with a 5-4 victory over Anthony Hamilton. He grabbed the deciding frame after Hamilton missed a long red.

John Parrott beat Stephen Hendry 5-3 in their quarter-final clash and improved to 14-19 in head-to-head meetings with the Scottish No.1. He's usually been the best when they've met outside Britain though, and holds a 8-3 advantage.

After Parrott lost the third frame to go 2-1 down everything seemed to go against him. He potted the last blue and left Hendry needing two snookers, but then he failed to hit the pink as he was snookered by the black. In his next shot he went in-off and Hendry potted pink and black for frame.

Nobody would be surprised if he broke down after making such blunders, but Parrott replied wonderfully and won the next two frames to go 3-2 up. He won the last of those two frames with a splendid 103 after Hendry missed an easy red.

Hendry isn't the one to give up without a fight either. He made a historic tournament-best 130 total clearance in the next frame to level at 3-3. The break was historic because it was his 400th(!) in professional competition. No one else has managed 300 ... This feat didn't impress Parrott though, as he won the last two frames to book a place in the semi-finals.

Ronnie O'Sullivan advanced to the semi-finals after fluking the final black in the final frame against Tony Drago from Malta. A few shots earlier Drago had missed the black by a whisker. After the first session it looked like Ronnie would run away with the match as he was leading 3-1. Due to some bad play from O'Sullivan and some great pots from Drago the score was soon 3-3 and later 4-4 before the final battle began.

World champion Ken Doherty also struggled to a 5-4 win after being 2-0 and 3-1 down against Scotland's unsung hero, Jamie Burnett. Jamie, who is a stablemate of Stephen Hendry, took the first frame with a solid 94 break and looked unstoppable whilst Doherty could hardly pot two balls in succession. After the interval things changed though and it took a deciding frame to resolve who was to win. In the last frame Burnett looked like the champion after he was in perfect position with only the colors left. He missed a somewhat tricky green though after poor positional play. Doherty eventually got the final saying to move into his first ranking semi-final of the season.

Results

(Players are English unless stated)

Final

John Higgins (Scotland) 9-4 John Parrott

83-28, 1-92 (86), 14-67, 69-21, 72-44, 57-27, 0-102 (102)
59-48, 80-5 (80), 80-49 (54), 80-14, 53-67, 109-25 (105)

Semi-finals

John Higgins (Scotland) 6-4 Ronnie O'Sullivan

91-10, 0-92 (92), 64-7, 52-51, 77-4, 58-78 (50,78),
73-24 (69), 0-103 (55), 4-74 (63), 117-2 (56,61)


John Parrott 6-4 Ken Doherty (Ireland)

55-54, 5-68, 64-0, 0-84 (80), 60-1, 5-68 (50),
6-106 (52,54), 117-9 (85), 82-1 (82), 74-0 (68)

Quarter-finals

Ronnie O'Sullivan         5-4 Tony Drago (Malta)
John Higgins (Scotland)   5-4 Anthony Hamilton
John Parrott              5-3 Stephen Hendry (Scotland)
Ken Doherty (Ireland)     5-4 Jamie Burnett (Scotland)

First round

Ronnie O'Sullivan         5-2 James Wattana (Thailand)
Tony Drago (Malta)        5-3 Quinten Hann (Australia)
Anthony Hamilton          5-2 Jason Ferguson
John Higgins (Scotland)   5-2 Martin Clark
Stephen Hendry (Scotland) 5-2 Jimmy White 
John Parrott              5-3 Stephen Lee
Jamie Burnett (Scotland)  5-4 Gary Wilkinson
Ken Doherty (Ireland)     5-2 Shokat Ali (Pakistan)

Final Qualifying Round

Played at Hereford Leisure Centre, England, September 1997

Ronnie O'Sullivan         5-2 Graeme Dott (Scotland)
James Wattana (Thailand)  5-4 Dave Harold 
Tony Drago (Malta)        5-4 Steve James 
Quinten Hann (Australia)  5-3 Mark J Williams (Wales)
Jason Ferguson            5-1 Peter Ebdon 
Anthony Hamilton          5-3 Ian McCullch 
Martin Clark              5-3 Steve Davis 
John Higgins (Scotland)   5-0 Brian Morgan 
Stephen Hendry (Scotland) 5-0 Paul Wykes 
Jimmy White               5-2 Alan McManus (Scotland)
Stephen Lee               5-3 Chris Small (Scotland)
John Parrott              5-2 Lee Walker (Wales)
Gary Wilkinson            5-3 Nigel Bond 
Jamie Burnett (Scotland)  5-1 Alain Robidoux (Canada)
Shokat Ali (Pakistan)     5-2 Darren Morgan (Wales)
Ken Doherty (Ireland)     5-3 Billy Snaddon (Scotland)

Related Pages

1995 German Open
1996 German Open
German Open Finals

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