Tournaments: 1996/97: Ranking: Asian | Grand Prix | UK | German | Welsh | International | European | Thailand | British | World

Embassy World Championship 1997

Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England (Apr 19 - May 5, 1997)
Ranking tournament (No.10 of 10)

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The victory streak is over! Stephen Hendry has lost and Ken Doherty has won!

Ken Doherty managed to withstand Hendry's high break attack to claim the World Championship trophy for the very first time with a 18-12 victory in the final. It is also the first time a player from the Republic of Ireland has prevailed.

Hendry made five centuries in the match and won five frames in a row from 15-7 down. One had to wonder if he could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat once more. Do you remember how he once won the last 10 frames in to beat Jimmy White 18-14? Doherty was unstoppable on the night though and won the last three frames to end the Scot's dominance at The Crucible. Stephen had won five championships in a row and 29 consecutive matches coming into this final. Had he won again he would have had seven world titles, one more than Ray Reardon and Steve Davis.

This victory will take Doherty to No.3 in the 1997/98 world rankings. Hendry will still have a commanding lead in first place despite the loss today, John Higgins will be second, and Mark Williams fourth.

Go to the World Championship Page for more background info.


By Patrick McWilliams ([email protected])

Ken Doherty became the first player to lift both the World Amateur and Professional titles, having won the amateur crown in 1989 (and U21 title the year before), going one better than Doug Mountjoy and Jimmy White, who were runners-up in the pro. event, the former to Steve Davis in 1981 and the latter on an incredible six occasions (84, 90-94).

Hendry seemed a little jaded after a very long season and was not quite his awesome best. However, once Doherty, from Ranelagh a few miles from the centre of Dublin, pulled ahead 11-5 at the end of the first day, the Irishman managed to keep his advantager and "drawing" the second day 7-7 was enough to guarantee a cheque for 210,000 pounds sterling and the famous Joe Davis trophy.

Hendry won 126,000 pounds for his efforts while Ronnie O'Sullivan's superb maximum break earned him 147,000 pounds + 18,000 for the highest break, not bad for 5 minutes' work.

Hendry, while clearly shattered by the loss of his crown, generously conceded that Ken was a "deserved winner", and Doherty, who showed enormous composure to hold himself together as the Hendry charge gained momentum, admitted he was mightily relieved to have held on. "My mother must have burnt a number of churches as she's been lighting so many candles for me" said the popular 27 year old.

This was a match that saw the champion make numerous errors, especially with his long potting and safety. Doherty was usually able to punish him for them but on occasions stuttered as the winning post appeared. However, the new champion played better over the marathon distance and, crucially, made fewer mistakes, to defy the odds of 2/7 quoted on Hendry to surpass the modern era record of 6 titles, shared by Ray Reardon and Steve Davis.

Extra notes

I think my first report was a little unfair on Ken as it might have suggested that Hendry wasn't at the races. However, he was clearly a deserved winner, having to defeat a resurgent Steve Davis plus the world's no. 1 and 2 players on the way.

Note also that Hendry has been behind before and always come through, but on this occasion Doherty kept up such a relentless stream of steady scoring and decent safety that the champion was simply unable to claw his way back.

Forgot to say earlier that Ken is only the second "overseas" (i.e. non-UK) player to win the title.

Patrick McWilliams ([email protected])


Ken Doherty from Ireland reaches his first ever World Championship final. This Sunday and Monday he'll try to end Stephen Hendry's reign at The Crucible.


Thanks to Patrick McWilliams ([email protected]) for some assistance here

Morgan complained that the presence of a high profile Hendry fan, world boxing champ Nazeem Hamed, in the press area last night had "a massive bearing on the match". Morgan lost 3 of the 4 frames when Hamed was present and asked for him to be moved.

This will be James Wattana's first semifinal appearance since 1993. Now he'll "just" have to defeat Stephen Hendry to be the first Thai in a World final!

Alain Robidoux continues a great season by beating giant-killer Lee Walker. This is the first time Robidoux' advances beyond round two at The Crucible Theatre. He is the first Canadian semifinalist since former world champion Cliff Thorburn reached the same stage in 1989. His next opponent will be Ken Doherty from Ireland.

Ken Doherty advanced to his first ever WC semifinal and we are now assured a non-UK player in the final. That's the first time since 1983 when Cliff Thorburn lost 18-6 to Steve Davis. My records date back to 1980 and not in one of these years have we seen three non-UK players in the semi-finals. This time it's truly a "World" snooker Championship. It's not a very good tournament for England though. Not since 1981 has there been just one Englishman in the World Championship quarter-finals, and 1980 was the last time England lacked representation at the semi-final stage.

Second round

By Patrick McWilliams ([email protected])

Steve Davis admitted afterwards that he had been "annihilated"; it was the first time that he had ever failed to score at least 9 frames in any match beyond the first round and must rank with his 10-1 hiding by Tony Knowles in 1982 when he was defending champ.

Here are Ken Doherty's best breaks in this match: 104, 101, 96 (missed 13th red on a maximum), 71, 66, 65, 62, 58, 56, 54, 51).

First round

Ronnie O'Sullivan made a 147 maximum against Mick Price. That break earns him a �147,000 maximum bonus plus �18,000 for the high break of the tournament. He used only 5 minutes and 20 seconds on the 36 pots. It's the fourth maximum made in the history of the World Championship. Cliff Thorburn, Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry are the other players to have managed this feat.

Ronnie said he was "shaking like a leaf near the end of his break" and that he was so wrapped up in it that "he forgot to use his chalk" (which he dropped when on the blue"). He said he knew the break was on when he had scored 8, as there were 3 or 4 reds round the black and he knew he had to go for it.

He attributes his improved form this year to his mother getting strict with him and throwing him out of the house at one stage, after which he went on a training regime and lost 3 stones. He says he runs 8 miles every morning and then goes to the gym.

Opponent Mick Price, who says he was brought up in the "bread and butter of the Coventry leagues", described O'Sullivan as being "on a different planet" when at his best.

Anthony Hamilton came back from an 8-4 deficit to beat Jimmy White in the deciding frame. White will now be out of the top 16 in the world rankings for the first time in 15 years.

Tony Drago missed the black off its spot in frame 18, for a clearance and a 10-8 victory.


Eric Whitehead)


(Players are English unless stated)


Ken Doherty (Ireland) 18-12 Stephen Hendry (Scotland)

67-1, 5-117 (117), 0-106 (106), 77-13, 78-9 (69),
75-51, 69-11 (59), 0-122 (122). 12-76, 89-32, 62-55,
57-43, 65-13, 85-50 (85, 50), 47-74, 60-28 (52),
23-70 (58), 71-24 (70), 4-110 (92), 86-0 (46), 85-16,
59-45, 0-137 (137), 12-75, 30-61 (51), 0-114 (110),
57-61, 82-23, 69-19 (50), 71-49


Ken Doherty (Ireland) 17-7 Alain Robidoux (Canada)

104-5, 8-79, 33-78, 99-0, 0-131, 62-26, 23-67,
77-1, 88-34, 60-2, 73-44, 87-14, 82-19, 36-92,
78-6, 74-31, 1-97, 60-25, 48-62, 59-18

Stephen Hendry (Scotland) 17-13 James Wattana (Thailand)

0-136, 10-92, 55-42, 73-8, 78-21, 114-6, 122-0,
38-74, 60-45, 101-0, 25-91, 60-63, 71-1, 18-61,
0-83, 42-74, 78-19, 66-53, 71-28, 79-33, 8-77,
16-75, 68-29, 69-39, 1-89, 85-9, 0-76, 17-71,
119-10, 74-61


Stephen Hendry (Scotland) 13-10 Darren Morgan (Wales)
James Wattana (Thailand)  13-10 John Parrott
Alain Robidoux (Canada)   13-8  Lee Walker (Wales)
Ken Doherty (Ireland)     13-9  John Higgins (Scotland)

Second round

Stephen Hendry (Scotland) 13-8  Mark J Williams (Wales)
Darren Morgan (Wales)     13-12 Ronnie O'Sullivan
James Wattana (Thailand)  13-7  Stephen Lee
John Parrott              13-11 Anthony Hamilton
Alain Robidoux (Canada)   13-9  Stefan Mazrocis
Lee Walker (Wales)        13-10 Alan McManus (Scotland)
Ken Doherty (Ireland)     13-3  Steve Davis
John Higgins (Scotland)   13-5  Dominic Dale (Wales)

First round

Stephen Hendry (Scotland) 10-6 Andy Hicks
Mark J Williams (Wales)   10-9 Terry Griffiths (Wales)
Darren Morgan (Wales)     10-5 Gary Wilkinson
Ronnie O'Sullivan         10-6 Mick Price
Stephen Lee               10-8 Nigel Bond
James Wattana (Thailand)  10-9 Graeme Dott (Scotland)
Anthony Hamilton          10-9 Jimmy White
John Parrott              10-9 Bradley Jones
Stefan Mazrocis           10-3 Peter Ebdon
Alain Robidoux (Canada)   10-8 Brian Morgan
Lee Walker (Wales)        10-7 Dave Harold    
Alan McManus (Scotland)   10-9 Billy Snaddon (Scotland)
Ken Doherty (Ireland)     10-8 Mark Davis
Steve Davis               10-2 David McLellan (Scotland)
Dominic Dale (Wales)      10-9 Tony Drago (Malta)
John Higgins (Scotland)   10-6 Graham Horne (Scotland)

Final qualifying round

Telford International Centre, England (Mar 24-26, 1997)

Mark Davis                10-5 Jason Ferguson
Brian Morgan              10-6 Dene O'Kene (New Zealand)
Billy Snaddon (Scotland)  10-7 Rod Lawler
Stephen Lee               10-5 Drew Henry (Scotland)
Bradley Jones             10-4 Dave Finbow
Graham Horne (Scotland)   10-7 Steve James
Mick Price                10-9 Jimmy Michie
Gary Wilkinson            10-9 Michael Judge (Ireland)
Stefan Mazrocis           10-4 Chris Small (Scotland)
Dominic Dale (Wales)      10-6 Willie Thorne
David McLellan (Scotland) 10-9 Neal Foulds
Terry Griffiths (Wales)   10-4 Alfie Burden
Andy Hicks                10-7 Matthew Stevens (Wales)
Lee Walker (Wales)        10-7 Dennis Taylor (N.Ireland)
Anthony Hamilton          10-5 Karl Broughton 
Graeme Dott (Scotland)    10-8 Joe Swail (N.Ireland)


Here is the list of the 39 centuries made:

  1. 147 Ronnie O'Sullivan
  2. 137 Stephen Hendry
  3. 134 John Higgins
  4. 133 Ronnie O'Sullivan
  5. 133 John Parrott
  6. 131 Billy Snaddon
  7. 130 John Higgins
  8. 129 Anthony Hamilton
  9. 129 John Parrott
  10. 129 John Parrott
  11. 128 Darren Morgan
  12. 127 Stefan Mazrocis
  13. 125 Jimmy White
  14. 123 Mark J Williams
  15. 122 Stephen Hendry
  16. 121 Anthony Hamilton
  17. 121 Darren Morgan
  18. 121 Alain Robidoux
  19. 117 Anthony Hamilton
  20. 117 Stephen Hendry
  1. 116 Ken Doherty
  2. 116 Darren Morgan
  3. 114 Stephen Hendry
  4. 113 Alain Robidoux
  5. 112 James Wattana
  6. 111 John Higgins
  7. 110 Dominic Dale
  8. 110 Stephen Hendry
  9. 108 Darren Morgan
  10. 106 Stephen Hendry
  11. 106 Stephen Hendry
  12. 104 Ken Doherty
  13. 102 John Parrott
  14. 101 Ken Doherty
  15. 101 Stephen Hendry
  16. 101 Stephen Hendry
  17. 101 John Higgins
  18. 100 Stephen Lee
  19. 100 Alan McManus

Prize Money

Winner �210,000
Runner-Up �126,000
Semi-finalist �63,000
Quarter-finalist �31,500
Round Two �16,800
Round One �9,450
Highest TV Break �18,000
* Includes payments made to last 48/64/96/128 and highest pre-TV break
Total *�1,260,000
Maximum TV Break �147,000

Related Pages

The World Championship Page

[ Report | Pictures | Results | Centuries | Prize Money | Related Pages ]

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