Jimmy White bowed out of this years 2016 World Championship in the opening qualifying round against Gerard Greene 10-9. Jimmy White has famously never won the most coveted prize in Snooker and for his army of loyal fans it was particularly heartbreaking as he had the ascendency at 9-7, only to lose the final 3 frames.
A perhaps familiar story of so close but yet so far. But one thing is for sure you always get a journey following Jimmy. Taking some of those frames in isolation, as I did with a bottle of whisky, there was enough there to encourage Jimmy fans that he is still playing well enough to warrant his place on the tour.
The match was played over two days, and Jimmy came out the strongest taking a 4-1 lead. However Greene got the best of some scrappy frames and took a 5-4 lead into the second day. Although the game was devoid of significant break building, both players showed their fighting spirit, neither refusing to let go on their Crucible dream lightly. At the start of the second session Jimmy had a wonderful opportunity with the reds split yet was blighted by a horrendous kick that saw him launch his cue across the hall in disgust. Greene capitalised and cleared for 6-4.
However it was Jimmy that was looking the more fluent of the two and and clawed it back to just a 7-6 deficit going into the final session. A crucial 16th frame saw Jimmy come back from a snooker, a 67 clearance and a re-spotted black to take a 9-7 advantage. He gave a fist pump to the his fans, who were estimated in their hundreds, unheard of for a qualifying event. But sadly it wasn’t to be. Greene held his nerve and Jimmy’s resolve yielded. It’s not been a good year for Jimmy, with only one win on the tour and this his fifth final frame decider defeat of the year. But fear not Jimmy fans, he will be back on the tour card in May for the Indian Open qualifiers. More information and an interview with Jimmy White Fanatic to come shortly.