John Higgins Admits He’s A “Lucky Boy” After Scraping Into Tour Championship

The Scot pocketed a tasty £150,000 Euro Series prize pot and snuck into this week’s Tour Championship
17:28, 27 Mar 2022

John Higgins admitted he was a “lucky boy” after scraping into the Tour Championship by the skin of his teeth.

It was double delight for the four-time world champion on the final day of the Gibraltar Open as he also scooped snooker’s pretty £150,000 Euro Series prize pot. And who would be blamed for thinking lady luck is firmly on Higgins’ side heading to Llandudno for the elite eight-man event?

Ricky Walden’s semi-final defeat to Kyren Wilson meant the Scot pocketed the tasty bonus and to make things even sweeter Robert Milkins becoming the oldest first-time ranking event winner meant the Scot snuck into this week’s Tour Championship. 

“I’m a lucky boy, a very lucky boy with how it turned out,” the world No 6 told The Sportsman. “I was lucky that Ricky lost in the semi-final because that got me the bonus. 

“And then Robert wins his first title so I get into the Tour Championship. I’m delighted for Robert first and foremost, but I got a side bonus of getting into the Tour Championship.

“It was incredible how it turned out. I left Gibraltar as the semi-finals were starting and I’ve got to be honest I fancied Ricky or Kyren winning the event. No disrespect to Jak and Robert but the other two guys have that experience of winning events. 

“I got off the flight at Edinburgh airport and I got all the texts saying ‘you lucky bugger’. My phone just went mental with all the messages I was getting.”

John Higgins
John Higgins

By the time Higgins’ spot at the Tour Championship was confirmed he had already exacted revenge on Mark Allen, who beat him in November’s Northern Ireland Open final. 

The potting pair both finished on £101,000 from the eight qualifying events in the Bet Victor Series. But it was the Wishaw Wizard who was laughing all the way to the bank after winning on a controversial count back rule after performing better at the European Masters. 

Higgins, who kicks off the Tour Championship in Llandudno against UK champion Zhao Xintong, admitted: “If someone had said at the start of the bonus that you’d earn around £100,000 then you’d think you’d be nowhere near good enough to win the prize.

“I fully understand that I’m a lucky so and so! If I’d missed out on the bonus and the Tour Championship that’s the way the cards would have fallen.

“I had no qualms about missing out on the Tour Championship or the bonus because I had my chance and I lost earlier on. I was expecting other results whether that be Judd, Neil, Ricky or Kyren. I fully expected it to go against me.

“If you don’t do it yourself then you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.”

Meanwhile, gutted Allen was left feeling sick as a dog after being pipped at the post in Gibraltar. And Allen believes if the same situation arises again that organisers should split the bonus. 

Allen jokingly tweeted that he was delighted to be splitting the bonus, but knew full well the welcome windfall had frustratingly gone begging. 

But the former Masters champion stressed: “It would make sense to split the bonus. I’d understand if John had gone a round further than me in Gibraltar and then that meant he was level because of that.

“It’s strange to me that they’ve had to go back a few events to decide it. But we knew the situation going to Gibraltar. 

“It’s a strange way to decide it, but I know going into Gibraltar that I had to go a round further than John. 

“It’s a strange way the way they do it, but it is what it is. I have no excuses because I had my chances and I didn’t do it myself. 

“I’ve never got close to winning any of these bonuses, so to be in contention heading into the last event was really pleasing for me. It’s a shame how it ended, but it is what it is.” 

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