There have been 155 maximum breaks made in professional tournament snooker. The sport’s golden boy Ronnie O’Sullivan has the most (15), with the five-time world champion also achieving the game’s greatest ever maximum in just over five minutes at the 1997 World Championship.
Though not quite as prestigious, The Masters has bought us more than a few special moments of its own. The sport’s finest players battling it out from start to finish, combined with rich history and a unique atmosphere, make for a consistently exhilarating affair. We look back on the competition’s best ever maximum breaks.
Kirk Stevens v Jimmy White
Steve Davis scored the first ever 147 break in 1982, but the Masters’ most famous maximum came two years later, during Jimmy White’s semi-final victory over Kirk Stevens.
One from Toronto, one from Tooting – when two of the game’s most charismatic players face off, you know you’re in for a treat. Sure enough, despite finding himself 3-0 down early on in the match, Stevens reduced the deficit to just one frame before creating the tournament’s most memorable moment.
“This young man of 25 years of age has achieved almost a miracle”, exclaimed Jack Karnehm in the commentary box as Stevens made history with the Masters’ first ever maximum break. The Canadian navigated tough shots on the green and yellow to make 147.
It wasn’t enough to win the match, as White eventually bettered him 6-4. Don’t feel too sorry for Stevens, though, as he no doubt found some consolation in the £10,000 cash prize he was awarded for the feat.
Ding Junhui v Anthony Hamilton
The 2007 Masters is famous for a final in which rising star Ding Junhui mistakenly believed that the match lasted for 17 frames. He went to shake hands with the eventual victor, Ronnie O’Sullivan, a frame earlier than the seven-time Masters champion had actually won it in.
The tournament wasn’t all bad for Ding, though. During a preliminary wild-card round against Anthony Hamilton, he became the youngest ever player to score a 147 break on live television. Aged 19 years and 288 days, he broke the previous record set by O’Sullivan in 1997 at 21-years-old. It was only the second maximum in Masters history.
Marco Fu v Stuart Bingham
By 2015, maximums had become far more common than they were when Davis made the first one three decades earlier. Marco Fu’s maximum against Stuart Bingham on the tournament’s opening day, for instance, was the third of his career. Fu lifted the roof at Alexandra Palace with an exemplary showing, going on to win the match 6-3.
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