150/1 Outsider Shaun Murphy Wins Snooker World Championship 2005

Shaun Murphy World Championships 150/1 Odds

DmitryYakunin, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When Shaun Murphy won the snooker World Championship in 2005, it was the first time a qualifying player (rather than a player from the main draw) had done so since 1979, when Terry Griffiths managed it.

Murphy was just 22 years old at the time, and had to face off against some of snooker’s biggest names of the day to get to the final, including John Higgins and Steve Davis.

Before the competition began, Murphy was priced at 150/1 to win the trophy, although as you can imagine, those odds shortened the closer he got to achieving it.

He was also the lowest ranked player to ever win the world title, numbering 48th at the time.

You can appreciate then how much of a shock it was to see him take down Matthew Stevens in the final, a Masters winner who was in his prime.

Murphy walked away with £250,000 for his efforts, having scored 11 century breaks along the way, and would go on to win 12 ranking tournaments and 11 non-ranking tournaments in his career, but here’s how he won his first.

How Shaun Murphy Won the 2005 World Championship

Shaun Murphy Wins World Championships

Due to his world ranking, Murphy entered the qualifying stages at round 3, taking on Marcus Campbell who he beat 10-3, then seeing off Joe Swail in round 4 with a score of 10-8.

This meant Shaun was in the competition proper, and in round 1, he was drawn against the well known Scottish player, Chris Small. It could be argued that this was something of a lucky break, because Small had recently been diagnosed with a spinal condition that would force him into retirement soon after, but nevertheless, Murphy lead 5-4 after the first session then came back to win 5 of the next 6 frames for a 10-5 win overall.

In the next round it was best of 25 frames, and Murphy was up against John Higgins, who had already won the competition once before, back in 1998. He led the more experienced player 9-7 after two sessions, eventually winning the game 13-8 and moving on to the quarter finals.

Here, he faced another player with tremendous amounts of success and experience; Steve Davis, already a six time world champion. It’s fair to say though that Murphy ran circles around Davis, leading 7-1 after 8 frames, holding the lead at 12-4 at the end of the second session, and then winning the first frame of the third session to take the match 13-4.

The first of the two semi-final games was Murphy’s battle against Peter Ebdon. The game was now a best of 33 frames, and for the first time, Shaun Murphy fell behind, with Ebdon leading 6-2 after just 80 minutes partly thanks to a couple of century breaks. However, Murphy pulled it back to 12-12 by the end of the third session, and won all 5 frames in the 4th to take the game 17-12.

And so to the final, another best of 33 but this time against Matthew Stevens, who had his eyes on his first World Championship having reached the final in 2000 but losing out. Once again, Murphy initially fell behind, and it wasn’t looking good for him as he was still trailing 11-12 at the end of the third session. He eventually managed to sneak the win though, with a final score of 18-16 in what was an extremely tough game.

Safe to say that Shaun Murphy had announced his arrival to the world of snooker.