Thursday, 12 January 2012

Murphy ready to march on

Marathon man Shaun Murphy has kicked off 2012 in the perfect style - and must surely be targeting major honours for the year ahead.

The Magician has long had a reputation as the ultimate professional. He applies himself excellently to each and every tournament he plays in and can always be counted on to be a consistent performer.
Picture by Monique Limbos

In fact, he's arguably one of the most reliable players at getting to the business end of tournaments time after time.

That's why he's so well equipped to enjoy success at an event such as the Championship League.

While others may view it as a knock around, you know Shaun will be giving it his all.

And, the 2005 world champion couldn't have wished for four better days of competitive practice.

He made the final of the Championship League Group One before losing to Judd Trump but immediately went to the next level with tonight's 3-0 win against Mark Selby in the Group Two final.

That puts him in with a real shout of a return to the Premier League but that is only the start of the benefits for him.

He cued beautifully throughout, and this is typical of Shaun. He's a player who treats every tournament tournament with great respect and is always in with a shout of silverware.

As much as he talks about the satisfaction of what he's achieved in the game so far, I can't help but feel he's desperate to return to the real top of the game this year. He last won the World Championship in 2005 and the UK Championship in 2008. Although he's part of a special crowd of players to have carved his name on both of these prestigious titles, you know he's got more in his locker.

For a player who was promised so much success, I can't help but feel he's a little starved of a top, top title. It's been a while.

Talking of the biggest prizes, the Masters kicks off this weekend. Judging by his slick performance at Crondon Park this week, maybe he's ready to stand tall again and win another big one.

Murphy is always a safe bet but perhaps 2012 could be a very big year for him.

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