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Magnificent Michael Holt claims 2020 Shoot-Out title

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Michael Holt is the defending champion (Eurosport)

Michael Holt ended a 24-year wait for a ranking title at the 2020 Shoot-Out with victory over Zhou Yuelong in the final in Watford.

Holt, who turned professional in 1996, went one better than last year’s runner-up spot as he clinched the £50,000 BetVictor Shoot-Out title in thrilling fashion.

Holt’s victory also secures him a place in next week’s Players Championship at the expense of Ronnie O’Sullivan, as well as a spot in November’s Champion of Champions.

He began the final day of the unique one-frame event at the Watford Colosseum by defeating Ian Burns 38-15 in the Last 32, before overcoming Joe Perry with a 67 break.

The 41-year-old then came through a nail-biting Quarter-Final against Ben Woollaston by just 19 points to six before seeing off Yan Bingtao 59-16 in the Semis.

Holt seized his first scoring opportunity in the final and went on to protect a 64-1 lead to seal the deal.

“I’m just really lucky!” joked Holt. “I enjoy the format and it actually helps me because I’ve always stopped myself playing by thinking and this doesn’t give you time to think so I can just play on my instinct.

“That’s when I play my best.

“I know it’s a different format but it’s a win and I’m really happy.”

Zhou, who was whitewashed by Neil Robertson in the recent European Masters final, was again forced to settle for second prize but continues his climb up the rankings.

Holt’s success moves him into the top 16 on the one-year ranking list, ahead of O’Sullivan, and subsequently sees him qualify for next week’s Players Championship in Southport.

Snooker Shoot-Out 2020 Results

Sunday February 23

Third Round
Zhou Yuelong 65-8 Jack Lisowski
Liang Wenbo 41-68 Anthony McGill
Ashley Carty 20-56 Mike Dunn
Anthony Hamilton 73-0 Ross Bulman
Brandon Sargeant 21-44 Shaun Murphy
Lyu Haotian 64-47 Soheil Vahedi
Aaron Hill 2-63 Craig Steadman
Jak Jones 16-28 Peter Lines
Barry Hawkins 15-54 Ben Woollaston
Jamie Clarke 47-11 Li Hang
Zhang Anda 31-6 Xiao Guodong
Yan Bingtao 73-17 Dean Young
Ian Burns 15-38 Michael Holt
Luo Honghao 2-51 Billy Joe Castle
Lei Peifan 6-21 Mei Xi Wen
Sunny Akani 25-62 Joe Perry

Last 16
Shaun Murphy 38-45 Anthony McGill
Lyu Haotian 34-32 Zhang Anda
Craig Steadman 15-42 Yan Bingtao
Billy Joe Castle 39-77 Zhou Yuelong
Ben Woollaston 96-0 Jamie Clarke
Mei Xi Wen 22-12 Mike Dunn
Peter Lines 23-48 Anthony Hamilton
Joe Perry 24-67 Michael Holt

Mei Xiwen 18-38 Zhou Yuelong
Ben Woollaston 6-19 Michael Holt
Lyu Haotian 45-33 Anthony McGill
Anthony Hamilton 9-35 Yan Bingtao

Michael Holt 59-16 Yan Bingtao
Zhou Yuelong 44-33 Lyu Haotian

Michael Holt 64-1 Zhou Yuelong