Official Fergal O'Brien Website
I was delighted to get an invite to the recent
German Open played in Furth, just outside Nuremberg.
The first day I won my group, winning two matches 2-0 and then I got a walkover
as my opponent, who was pregnant, was not feeling well!
This doesn't happen very often.
The next day I won my last 64 match 3-0 against
the runner up from another group.
Later that night I played my last 48 match against Germany's Number one Patrick Einsle
but lost 3-1 in front of a very patriotic crowd.
It was hard waking up on Sunday knowing I
wouldn't have any part to play
in what promised to be a great days snooker as the tournament was played from the last 32 to a finish.
Michael Holt beat Barry Hawkins 4-2 in the final.
Out of a field of 160 there were 30 professionals including six of the top sixteen
plus another nine from the top 32.
The venue was brilliant with six tables spread
over three areas.
There were two tables in the main room where the semi's and the final were played.
Everyday was a total sellout with the thousand daily tickets snapped up within ten minutes of going on sale.
Snooker is booming in Germany with Eurosport
coverage over the last few years having a tremendous impact
on the games popularity in mainland Europe and particulary in Germany.
I next return to mainland Europe in November as the Swiss Open takes place from the 9th to the 12th.
Whilst I would have liked to have got further
in the tournament
It didn't take away from the great time I had.
From courtesy cars to free food and drink the players couldn't have been treated better.
Most players nearly suffered cramp from signing autographs such was the interest from the fans.
Hopefully this great event will lead to a
ranking tournament in Germany in the very near future.
Many thanks go to Brandon Thomas and Olaf for inviting me to play
and for running such a fantastic event.
I hope to be back playing snooker in Germany very soon.