Vinnie Calabrese is set to make an immediate return to snooker’s professional ranks after winning the 2015 OBSF Oceania Snooker Championship at the ACBS Clubrooms in Auckland, New Zealand.
Australia’s Calabrese claimed this title two years ago to qualify for the sport’s top tier for the first time, but having recently resigned his tour card prematurely in order to compete in this event as an amateur, he now earns a fresh two-year pass on the professional circuit.
A continental tournament won by Neil Robertson in the past, a total of 62 players took part in this year’s edition. Calabrese eased through his group without dropping a frame before navigating the knockout rounds.
In the final he faced reigning Oceania billiards champion Matthew Bolton, who had also reached that stage undefeated and compiled the tournament’s highest break with an effort of 138. Calabrese began the final well, making breaks of 47 and 99 in taking a 3-1 lead, but Bolton recovered to level up at 3-3.
However, Calabrese was not to be denied the championship, as further runs of 73 and 61 helped him on his way to a 6-3 victory.
At the same venue before the main event, Australians Theresa Whitten and Ryan Thomerson won the 2015 Oceania Women’s and Under-21 Championships respectively.
Whitten qualified for the knockouts after finishing third in her group. She then defeated Agnes Kimura (New Zealand) 3-1 in the quarter-finals, Kerry de Pradines (Australia) 4-0 in the semi-finals and Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan (New Zealand) 4-0 in the final.
Having lost two matches and five frames in her group, Whitten dropped only a frame in the KO phase.
Thomerson relinquished only four frames throughout the entire under-21 tournament, winning all three of his group matches before defeating compatriots Kyle Renton 4-0 and Jayme White 5-2 in the last eight and four respectively. He then got the better of New Zealand’s Louis Chand 6-1 in the final.
In the Oceania 6-Red Championships the finals were all-Australian affairs as Ben Judge defeated Hassan Kerde 6-1 to claim the main event whilst Suzy Bussanich ousted Anna Lynch 4-3 in the women’s.
Event date: 25th-29th March 2015