Yarrawonga snooker star Adrian Ridley can now add the title of Australian Champion to his long-list of achievements.
Since first picking up a cue at age 10, Adrian has amassed a long-list of tournament and title wins, but until now the mantle of Australian Champion had eluded him.
“I’ve won state titles and Oceania titles but never an Australian title,” Ridley told the Chronicle, “maybe I can retire now I’ve won one”.
A marathon three days of snooker at the RACV Snooker Club in Melbourne saw Adrian bring home the title late Sunday, August 20.
The event pits the top 64 snooker players in Australia against each over several rounds; round 1 (best of 7), round 2 (best of 7), the last 16 (best of 7), quarter finals (best of 7), semi-finals (best of 9) and the final (best of 11).
Ridley came up against Australian snooker champion Steve Mifsud in the finals and admits he didn’t give himself much chance of winning.
“I hadn’t put in a lot of time preparing before the event so when I started in the first few rounds on the Friday I was pretty ordinary,” he said.
“I managed to warm up and work my way into it and finally ended up playing some good snooker.
“Steve is probably the most decorated snooker player in Australia so I knew when I came up against in the final I had my work cut out for me.
“I got off to a good start, winning the first three, then I think the nerves and the tiredness got to me and I started making some silly shots.”
Three days of competition took its toll and Ridley had to dig deep to rally in the final few frames.
“A lot of people don’t really think about it but playing snooker for three days, in a darkened room, with a high level of concentration is very tiring,” Ridley said.
“You are always strategizing and thinking a few shots ahead and sometimes it gets pretty rough.
“Luckily things came together for me in the final and I managed to pull out a few good shots to take out the win.”
Snooker is ingrained in the Ridley family, with Adrian’s parents both playing for many years.
The sport has afforded great opportunity and experience for Ridley, he’s travelled overseas more than 15 times for competition.
He juggles his snooker commitments with full time work at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort and after his national title win he will need to put in for some holidays come November.
“As winner of the Australian Championships I get to compete in the World Snooker Championships in November,” Ridley said.
“There will be four or five players from Australia competing. I’ve competed twice before, last time as the number one ranked Australian player.
“There might be a bit more pressure going as the Australian title holder but I am pretty used to it.
“The event was to be held in Malta but now it looks like it will be moved to Qatar.”
Ridley will prepare for the world championships over the coming months, with no doubt plenty of support from family and friends.