For John Higgins to win the first tournament after his suspension is a remarkable feat.

He was nervous, he was rusty, he was unsure of the reception he would receive. However, tonight he beat Shaun Murphy 4-2 to win the fifth event of the European Players Tour Championship in Hamm and provide the PTC series with its eleventh different winner from the twelve tournaments contested so far.

Higgins didn’t pick up his cue from losing to Steve Davis in the second round of the World Championship last season to shortly after learning that he would be returning to the circuit despite the News of the World scandal that cast doubt on his entire professional career.

The 35 year-old three times world champion went to Germany with his wife, Denise, and found players to be largely welcoming.

I’m sure John felt he had a point to prove and to win the title says a lot about his own mental strength. The strength of his game was never in dispute.

The whole experience seems to have made him even tougher than before. There was no better way to answer the doubters and he knew that. As so often before, he rose to the occasion.

In normal circumstances winning an EPTC title would not register high on the list of achievements for a player as steeped in silverware as Higgins.

But the manner in which this trophy was won much surely make it one of the most satisfying of his career.


Anonymous said...

I am delighted for John, I am delighted for John's father. Well done!!

Maza said...


Anonymous said...

should be good for media interest

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. It would be a real pity if he had lost the focus altogether like Tiger Woods (although in Woods' case I would say it was worth it).

Good luck John.

Anonymous said...

Well done John. Great achivement after the mess he went thru (whoever was to blame)

I admire anyone in sport who can somehow find whatever is needed to get over the line.

There's not many true champions out there and I think its good for the game to have ohn back. Well done.

dzierzgul said...

Great win, I certainly hope that this will give him the confidence he needs to win more tournaments (which he truly deserves).
Good luck John

Anonymous said...

the best player in the world
the best player for the game in the world, even with the last 6 months debacle
a true champion and a true gentleman

Betty Logan said...

The real irony here is that Murphy was in the papers last week saying he expected Higgins to struggle after being out for so long, and look who he beat in the final!

Matt said...

I thought he'd be back but I didn't expect it to be this quickly!

Still the best player in the world then.

Anonymous said...

i dont think thats ironic at all betsy

john expected to struggle / be rusty himself

you dont have post some rubbish !

TazMania said...

I think higgins wanted this title more than The worlds he won in 2009. Shame more players didnt enter. Snooker players need to realise 20 events a season may be much but snooker is thier job, i dont see workers in Britain going ‘Oh i will only work on 10/52 weekends, there are too many weeks in year!I need some rest with the family’ Dont we all wish that! This is a golden ERA in terms of No. Tournaments especially next year with 30 events. Players need to get off their backside and wakeup. How is new Snooker fans supposed to know the players if they dont even attend. PTC isnt smaller than any player other than possibly S. Hendry. Not even smaller than Ronnie!

Anonymous said...

I expect the bounce factor to kick in for the UK Champs next month.

Armbrust said...

"eleventh different winner from the twelve tournaments"? You mean: eleventh different winner from the eleven tournaments?

Peter P said...

Impressive return to the circuit, but he has much still to prove - as he himself said.

Let's see how he matches up against the best (Ronnie, Robertson & Selby) in the longer format of the UK Ch'ship in December.

I myself still can't look at him the same way after the revelations. At best such sheet stupidity as was on display in the Ukraine has to make you doubt the man. Long way to go in his rehabilitation - as he himself says.

Anonymous said...

How embarresing for all players in this event.that a player who hasn't picked up a cue in six months wins this tournament,a sad reflection on them.

Anonymous said...

clueless 1011

cream rises

and higgy was the best player in the world for almost 2 years prior to not playing and has been practising a good amount over the last 6 weeks or so, against very good play partners

Betty Logan said...


Do you know what "irony" actually means?

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary: ...incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result

So of course it is ironic that he beat Shaun Murphy, because the result is incongruous with what Murphy himself predicted. My advice is don't use words—and especially don't correct people—when you don't understand what the actual word means. The sad thing about this is that the anonymous poster with the poor grasp on the English langauge is probably a product of the British education system rather than one of the many foreign posters we get on Dave's blog...

flakebath said...

It was inevitable.
Many congrats Wiz.

Greg P said...

The man is clearly fired up.

Surely he has to be among the favourites at the UK championship. Top 3 favourites I would say!

Roll on the UK!

Anonymous said...

youre wrong again, making assumprions about where i originally come from betsy.

well done, mr consistent

Anonymous said...

Well Higgins gets the Dwayne Chambers treatment from me from now on ie. When he appears on telly, I turn it over. I've seen the video, that's enough for me.

Mat Wilson

Anonymous said...

We won't miss you Mat Wilson.
Have fun watching strictly.

jamie brannon said...

I think after being welcomed by the players and winning his first match, his nerves would have settled.

Overall, though the triump was impressive, it was not on the scale of Kim Clijsters winning the US Open in 2009 after retirement. After all, Higgins was only absent for six months and that used be the length of the off-season.

It was an astounding testament to his courage in the face of adversity, the greatest asset he has in his armoury, hence why he finds his best stuff when players come back at him in matches.

Were the crowds for this event? As it will be interesting to see how Telford receives him, I will be applauding him in on December 5th, when I pay a visit to watch.

Also, if Marcus Stead is reading, that is me talking to your mate on Facebook.

I don't think that I said that I wanted to be a journalist. I have just completed a media related degree, but I am not good enough to get into paid print journalism, so focusing my attention's on breaking into television and radio by looking for any type of work experience.

Pyramideye said...

You have to learn a bit more about how the game is played brannon.

Enthusiasm alone will only get you so far.

jamie brannon said...

What game? snooker? I am not looking to play it at the highest level.

Anonymous said...

So how would Jamie 'cope' with terms such as the 'official line' or getting use to publishing copied articles which is increasingly common practice.
Or his great weakness of being unable to hide player allegiances.

The standard education system and his supposed degree only taught him to turn up on time.

He may have afew things in common with you Dave such as sport teams or type of sports to follow or favourite players or geography.

But keep him on the basic journalism path which he might be good for eventually.

But ultimately he could never be trusted with anything on a higher level of initiation.

Dave H said...

There's no one route in, a lot of it is down to luck.

However, any would-be journalist should read newspapers and magazines avidly. That's the best way to learn style and technique.


Wonderful to have him back in the game and winning events. Well done John Higgins.