Neil Robertson was the worthy winner of the Bahrain Championship.
He went to Manama low in confidence but gradually found some during the week.
His performance in beating Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals could well have turned his entire season around.
It’s unfair on the late Eddie Charlton to compare these two Australians because he was at his peak before there was a recognisable circuit like today.
Nevertheless, Robertson has a reasonable claim to be Australia’s most successful snooker player ever. His victory in Bahrain gave him his third rankling title. Only 15 other players in the game’s history have won this many.
He had some off table stuff to deal with last season that distracted him from his on table efforts.
He now has a new coach, Steve Prest, and practises in a new club and will hopefully kick on from this victory and win more tournaments.
I hope so. Neil is good to watch and it’s good for any sport to have players of different nationalities winning titles, particularly in the British dominated game of snooker.
Matthew Stevens could have led the final 8-6 but missed an awkward black and failed to win another frame.
This was a further disappointment for a man who had already won only one ranking title from six finals.
At least he has some confidence back and a bunch of points as he attempts to rejoin the elite top 16, which is where a player of his class belongs.
So what of the Bahrain Championship?
Not even the most deluded spin doctor could claim the crowd turnout during the week was good. It must have been the lowest attendance for a ranking tournament final I have ever seen.
Players thrive on an atmosphere and tend to raise their game when the crowd gets behind them.
We saw much high quality snooker during the week but the event obviously missed Mark Selby, John Higgins and Ding Junhui, who were all contracted to play in the Premier League, and Ronnie O’Sullivan and Steve Davis, who withdrew with sick notes, although of course Davis was also in the Premier League.
If World Snooker stages this event next year then they should do so at a time when everyone can enter and if they have to come to a separate arrangement with O’Sullivan to get him there then they should seriously consider that as well.
No one player is bigger than the sport but snooker benefits from having all its stars taking part in tournaments, particularly new ones in new territories.