John Higgins is widely considered the greatest doubler on the snooker circuit.
The Scot has backed himself on countless occasions to hammer a ball into a cushion and into the opposite pocket – and more often than not, his angles have been spot on.
But when he was faced with a simple green during his UK Championship opener with Michael Georgiou, a double seemed an unnecessary risk.
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All he had to do was roll in the green into the middle left pocket, then play safe and wait for another opportunity to win the frame.
Except Higgins wanted to finish the job in one visit. With the brown, the next ball, perched on the top cushion, his only route to it was by making the shot 10x harder – and playing a trademark double.
It paid off. Such was the audacity of his shot, the crowd in the York Barbican offered lukewarm applause, probably unsure whether it was intentional or a fluke.
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But the Eurosport commentary team was left in no doubt.
“The only way to get to the brown from there is to play the double,” mused 1986 world champion Joe Johnson on Eurosport commentary.
David Hendon added: “John Higgins is for my money the best doubler in the game and he’s proved it again.”
Higgins still needed to pot the brown which, despite landing perfectly on it with the double, was far from easy. But he swiftly rattled it home and followed up with the blue and pink to secure a 2-1 lead.
“He made it look easy,” said Johnson, before Hendon added: “They are two quality pots aren’t they.”
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