Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Holt earns second PTC title

Michael Holt proved again what a class act he is on the baize.

His 4-2 win against Dominic Dale in the PTC10 final earned the Nottingham potter his second title in as many seasons.

Picture by Monique Limbos
To put this achievement into perspective, only Mark Selby and Judd Trump have managed to win a PTC event in two successive seasons.

That's an excellent haul for a player currently ranked outside the top 32 in the world rankings.

But in truth, Holt's current position is arguably a false one. When he's at his best, he's a classy cueman and a match for anyone. I just worry that his temperament holds him back in the bigger ranking events where the pressure is amplified.

Michael is a popular lad. He wears his heart on his sleeve, interacts with the crowd and is one of the circuit's real characters. Like anyone who doesn't perform to their potential, he gets frustrated. But I can't but help feeling he let's this get the better of him far too often.

He has a habit of showing his opponents too many cards and letting poor shots smoulder his performances.

That's why it's no surprise to see him realise his ability in these shorter-format tournaments played in front of small, or sometimes no crowds. He has no choice but to get on with the game and as a result, his snooker does the talking.

If only Holt could do this more, he'd be a real threat higher up snooker's pecking order.

His performance in Sheffield today was exceptional. In the semi-final, he masterfully outfought the World and UK champion, John Higgins. In the previous round, he potted Jamie Cope out of sight. Then crucially in the final, he was too much for even an in-form Dominic.

Holt is the kind of player who is desperate to enjoy greater success in the game. This win will give him the perfect boost going into the rest of the season.

If he manages to keep his temperament in check, he could achieve plenty. And you wouldn't begrudge him it either. He's a great lad, as well as a fine player.

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