1998 – WILLIAMS BEATS HENDRY ON RE-SPOT
The ability to play high quality snooker only gets you so far in the game. The ability to perform under pressure is what all great champions have in spades.
Mark Williams was a junior boxer and his all round toughness extended to the mental strength that saw him prevail in one of snooker’s most exciting ever finishes.
He trailed Stephen Hendry 9-6 in their Masters final and Hendry thus looked likely to win his seventh Wembley title.
However, Williams did not lie down and came back to 9-9 and then from 0-56 to force a re-spotted black.
By now, the atmosphere inside Wembley Conference Centre was more akin to a heavyweight boxing clash.
Hendry played the black to a side cushion. Williams considered attempting the double but the cue ball was so close to the opposite side cushion that it made it a very difficult pot.
He went for it, missed, and left a half chance, which rattled the jaws of the green pocket before staying out.
After several more shots on both sides, Williams left a chance to a middle pocket but it was far from straightforward with the cueball so close to the side cushion. Hendry’s expression as his sized the pot up said it all.
And he missed it to leave Williams a much easier pot to the green bag, which he knocked in for victory.
Of all the many great Masters moments, this stands out as the most thrilling.
Watch the end here.