Karl Sutton sensationally returned to top form as he defeated David McNamara 8-4 in the final to win the 2022 Pro Series Event 5 – his first Ultimate Pool silverware as an individual.
Despite claiming the Pairs Cup earlier this year alongside playing partner Shaun Chipperfield, the former European Champion and World Championship finalist had struggled for results in ranking events since the creation of the circuit. Prior to this event, he hadn’t won two consecutive matches at any Pro Series event before.
The Lowestoft cueist – who has won multiple international team titles with England down the years – certainly had it tough on route to glory at the Grand Hotel in Blackpool.
After a preliminary round win over another former European Champion in the shape of Oly Bale (7-4), Sutton saw off number one professional Shane Thompson 7-3 and then Pro Cup winner Jordan Shepherd by the same scoreline in the last 32 and 16 respectively.
Now into new territory on the series, Sutton denied his teammate Chipperfield 7-2 in the quarter-finals and Jack Whelan 7-5 in the last four. Event 3 winner in Birmingham in April, Whelan was aiming for Pro Series titles in consecutive playing weekends.
The form book was completely ripped up for the title match as McNamara also reached his maiden Pro Series final after a string of impressive results.
The former World Under-23 Champion saw off Eddie Barker 7-1 in the prelim round before wins over Malta’s reigning European Champion Dejan Grech 7-3, Challenger Series event winner Adam Bassoo 7-4, and a tense 7-6 success against number two ranked Shaun Storry.
In the semi-finals, the Runcorn star would be involved in another epic as he held his nerve to oust Craig Waddingham 7-6 – recovering from having missed match-ball in the previous frame.
A final that pitched numbers 24 and 25 from the rankings, it was the marginally lower ranked Sutton that got off to a dream start, producing a clinic of one-visit pool as he raced to a 5-0 lead.
However, McNamara – largely a spectator during that opening phase – went on a run himself with a reverse clearance, break clearance, reverse clearance, break clearance sequence for four in-a-row to reduce the gap to just one and firmly switch the contest back on.
The next two frames would be pivotal, though, as the tie swung again. McNamara couldn’t convert a half chance in frame ten to level, and Sutton – having stopped the rot in the aforementioned frame – was the beneficiary of a massive fluke on his last colour in frame 11 on his way to going on the hill at 7-4 up.
‘Karlos’ would secure the title in style with frame 12, break clearing to claim what he later described as the biggest win of his career, the trophy, and £10,000 in prize money.