And from nowhere, just as with Andrew Higginson at the Welsh Open two years ago, Stuart Pettman reaches a ranking event semi-final.
Well done to him. He seems to have played pretty solidly all season without quite making the breakthrough – until now.
Stuart has long been one of those very capable players who looks tough to beat in qualifiers but who struggles in front of the TV cameras.
He’s never minded travelling, though, and has played in and won tournaments in Thailand as an invited British professional. Indeed, two of his three last 16 appearances prior to this week came in ranking events outside the UK.
Stuart runs a snooker club in Preston with Shokat Ali. It was a sensible move because his on table earnings in 17 years as a professional are modest – £275,720, an average of £16,000 a year, not much for a member of the circuit in one of TV’s biggest sports.
His semi-final against Peter Ebdon may be a match too far. Ebdon was superb in putting away Stephen Hendry 5-1 and has all the experience at this level. He’s beaten Pettman three times in three previous meetings and is used to the TV conditions.
But even if Stuart’s great run does end tomorrow, it serves of a reminder as Higginson’s did that, on any given week in any given tournament, a member of the game’s supporting cast can emerge to play a leading role.