Winning return for Tom Cook
FORMER local player Tom Cook made a victorious return to his old haunts in the Gisborne Masters snooker tournament over Queen’s Birthday Weekend.
Now based in Tauranga, Cook proved too good on the immaculate Cossie Club tables to win the Gisborne leg of the New Zealand Masters series.
Playing off a minus-7 handicap as a member of Tauranga Citizens Club, Cook defeated Gisborne’s Tony Murphy (11 handicap) 2-1 in the best-of-three-frames final.
Cook had a perfect record of five wins to top his section and qualify for the championship 32.
He beat Jeff Crossan (-27, Whakatane) 2-1 in the round of 32 then Gisborne’s Les Bryon (37) 2-0 in the round of 16.
It put him into the quarterfinals, where he beat local player Ian “Tiny” Thompson (23) 2-1.
Cook booked his place in the final with a 2-1 semifinal win against Gisborne’s Rex Kennedy (-3).
Murphy also topped his section with five wins.
He knocked out Jeff Ashby (-2, Mount RSA) 2-0 in the round of 32, Glen Spotswood (24, Waipukurau) 2-1 in the round of 16, Rob Marshall (33, Tokoroa) 2-1 in the quarterfinals and clubmate John Berry (7) 2-1 in the semifinals.
Teena Bull (35, Waipukurau) beat Sean Grant (-4, Taradale) 2-0 in the flight final.
The plate final was an all-local affair, with Steve Wood (1) defeating Alex Nanai (-19) 2-0.
Ray Wolland (24, Taupo) beat Keith Kelly (5, Tokoroa) 2-1 to win the consolation plate.
Cook had the highest break excluding handicap in the tournament, 55, which he racked up in section play.
Michaela Bowden (45) made it a double for Tauranga Citizens Club with the high break including handicap — 65.
The quarterfinals of the main event featured five Gisborne players — Kennedy, Berry, Thompson, Alan Scholes (30) and Murphy — an impressive effort considering the 40-strong field included 26 visitors.
The next Gisborne fixture is the Ray Swann Championship Pairs on Saturday, June 15.