The Thai star extends her career-title haul to six on the World Women’s Snooker Tour (WWS) since her maiden victory in 2019 and in doing so ensured that she will reclaim the world number one ranking following the tournament.
The second staging of the tournament welcomed four of the world’s top five players, with Mink and Ng both competing on US soil for the first time, while 2022 finalists Jamie Hunter and Rebecca Kenna both returned for another tilt at the title. The field included players from no fewer than eight countries, with Canada’s Maryann McConnell notably making her return to the circuit following a 28-year hiatus and sensationally reaching the knockout stages.
With the top four seeds having progressed to the semi-finals, it was Mink and Ng Yee who were the standout players throughout the event and defeated the defending champion Hunter and last year’s runner-up Kenna to reach the title match.
Three-time world champion Ng made the stronger start as she dominated the opening frame with runs of 55 and 47, before she claimed a dramatic second on the black to double her advantage.
Mink was not to be deterred, however, as she responded by winning the following two frames to draw level, before turning the tables with a black-ball steal of her own in frame five to take the lead for the first time. A high-quality contest with both players approaching 90% pot success, hopes of a deciding-frame for neutral watchers were to be dashed as Mink closed out victory with an impressive run of 56 in what would prove to be the sixth and final frame.
Success for Mink means that the 23-year-old has claimed the season-opening event for the first time and will replace England’s Reanne Evans at the top of the world rankings, after Evans had overtaken her following last season’s British Open. She also recorded her first century break of the season with a run of 107.
For Ng, the tournament nevertheless represented an impressive return to form as she reached her first ranking final of the calendar year, as well as having claimed the bumper $500 high-break prize on offer from tournament title sponsors WineCellars.com following her impressive run of 121 during Friday’s group stage matches.
The Seniors side-tournament saw Hong Kong’s Jaique Ip Wan In defeat US player Kathleen Stanley to win her first Tour title in four years. The 43-year-old saw off Maryann McConnell and Diana Schuler in two hard-fought matches to reach the final match against home player Stanley, before scoring a 2-0 victory to earn her maiden Seniors crown.
In the Challenge Cup it was Germany’s Schuler who earned her second career WWS title following wins against US trio Frances Tso, Kaarin Lysen and Stanley to add to her success at last season’s Scottish Open Seniors tournament.
World Women’s Snooker would like to thank title sponsors WineCellars.com for their support of the event which helped ensure a significant increase in prize money from a year ago, as well as all of the team at Ox Billiards for their wonderful hospitality without whom the event would not be possible.
The WWS Tour continues next month with the Taom UK Women’s Snooker Championship from the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds. The event runs from 22-24 September and entry remains open via WPBSA SnookerScores.