Fergal O’Brien has had a very solid career which has seen him become a familiar face to Snooker fans. He turned professional in 1991 and steadily climbed the rankings. He was already closing on the world’s top 16 in 1999 when he won his first, and to this point only, ranking event where he battled to the British Open title with a win over Anthony Hamilton in the final.
More solid Snooker saw him remain amongst Snooker’s elite for a few seasons, although his best attempt at winning another ranking event came at the 2001 Masters where he let a good lead slip in the final against Paul Hunter.
Since then, however, Fergal has never shown the same form, quickly falling out the top 16 and indeed the top 32, although he did prevent himself dropping from out of the top 48 in the world. He has spent the majority of recent years around the magical 32 mark without really showing anything spectacular in major events.
Fergal holds the rather unique honour of being the only player to hit a century break in his opening Crucible frame, though his best World Championship run to date saw him reach the quarter-finals in 2000.
At this stage in his career it may be that we never seen Fergal hit the heights he did at the turn of the millennium. He has though shown decent form in the PTC series events since their inception, reaching two semi-finals which provides evidence that he could still cement a place in the top 32 for a good few years to come if he can begin to play with more consistency in the bigger events.
Nickname: The Baby-Faced Assassin
Date of Birth: 08.03.1972
Lives: Dublin, Ireland
Professional Since: 1991
Current World Ranking: 36
Highest Tournament Break: 143 – Benson and Hedges Championship (1991)
Ranking Tournament Wins: British Open (1999)