Pro-Am Snooker – 2018 3 Kings Snooker Open
3rd-6th January 2018 / Patrick's Black Seven Snooker Club, Rankweil, Austria
KLECKERS CROWNED AT 3 KINGS OPEN
The 14th annual edition of the 3 Kings Snooker Open saw German professional Lukas Kleckers win the title for the first time after denying amateur home hope Andreas Ploner 5-1 in the final.
This year's tournament featured 60 entries with representation for Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Iran, Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany and the host nation.
As normal, the players were split in to 16 Round Robin groups with the top 2 qualifying for the Last 32 Knock-Outs.
Q-School graduate Kleckers qualified top of his group after winning all three fixtures 2-0. Then in the KOs he eliminated Luis Vetter (Switzerland) 2-0, Richard Kornberger (Austria) 3-0, Richard Wienold (Germany) 4-1 and Lukas Krenek (Czech Republic) 4-2 to make the final.
Fellow youngster Ploner was looking to become the first home winner since 2006. He also got to the Final undefeated; in the Semi-Finals he dethroned 2017 champion and professional World Number 83 Alexander Ursenbacher (Switzerland) 4-0. In that match he compiled a break of 128 - which would be the highest of the tournament, thus banking him 256 Euros (2 Euros a point).
However, the final would be a step too far. Ploner claimed the opening frame, but Kleckers then registered five straight frames - highlighted by breaks of 52, 44 and 55, to secure a 5-1 victory.
The 21 year old, who defeated then defending Riga Masters Champion Neil Robertson on the TV table in Latvia during the summer, collected the trophy and 1,600 Euros.
Founded in 2005, this competition has been won by professionals Tony Drago (3 times), Dominic Dale (3 times), Bjorn Haneveer, Stephen Lee and Luca Brecel.
Results (from the Quarter-Finals onwards)
Alexander Ursenbacher (Switzerland) 4-0 Soner Sari (Turkey)
Andreas Ploner (Austria) 4-1 Paul Schopf (Austria)
Nüßle Florian (Austria) 2-4 Lukas Krenek (Czech Republic)
Richard Wienold (Germany) 1-4 Lukas Kleckers (Germany)
Losers each received 300 Euros
Ursenbacher 0-4 Ploner
Krenek 2-4 Kleckers
Losers each received 600 Euros
Ploner 1-5 Kleckers
Runner-Up received 1,000 Euros / Winner 1,600 Euros
For more information, and the full results, please visit the official 3-Kings Snooker Open website here.
Written and published by Michael Day on the 6th January 2018