Local pool star Mark ‘Granite’ Gray reached his seventh European Tour event final at the weekend (October 14).
The Bourne Snooker Centre professional was one of 160 players taking part in the fifth Tour event of the season at the Worthersee Stadium, home ground of Austria Klagenfurt, which has a capacity of 32,000.
And he produced some of his best pool to win eight games and earn a place in the final against home favourite and European number two Mario He.
Gray was narrowly beaten 9-8 and said afterwards he was ‘gutted’.
“It was my seventh Euro Tour final and I’d won my prevuious six so it was my first loss in a final. I was gutted I couldn’t make it seven,” he said.
“But the main thing is the result moved me back into the top 10 (no 10) of the European rankings. I haven’t been playing that much this year and was in danger of dropping out of the top 32, which would have meant not being seeded for future events.”
Gray pocketted a runners-up cheque for 3,000 Euros.
Round 1: Bye as Top 32 seed
Round 2: won 9-0 v Andreas Brezic (Austria)
Round 3: won 9-7 v Henrique Correia (Portugal)
Round 4: won 9-5 v Tomasz Kaplan (Poland)
Last 32: won 9-8 v Erculj Matjaz (Slovenia No 1)
Last 16: won 9-6 v Mateusz Sniegocki (Poland, Europe No 11)
Last 8: won 9-6 v Niels Feijen (Holland, Europe No 5)
Semi-Final: won 9-5 v Marc Bijsterbosch (Holland, Europe No 9)
Final: lost 9-8 v Mario He (Austria, Europe No 2)