A month ago that might have seemed an unlikely headline, as Steve Lee and Richard Furborough had been settled at the top of the Tour standings with two really good scores each, with a large lead and only two to play. With one to play only four chasers still had any chance at all, and then only by winning the Manchester Open outright. And as it happened, two of those four ended up contesting a fantastic final – the outcome being Seb Wilkinson taking the Manchester title to go with his Bristol victory only a fortnight before, and the Tour on top of that.
So our final top 10 is:
- Sebastian Wilkinson: 1715.5pts (winner, Bristol & Manchester)
- Steve Lee: 1698.6 (winner, Brighton)
- Jon Barnes: 1629.3 (winner, London)
- Richard Furborough: 1601.9 (winner, UK Open)
- Eric McAlpine: 1287.2
- Brian Lever: 1076.6
- Gaz Owen: 995
- Gary Bratton: 916.6 (winner, Liverpool)
- Simon Barget: 869.1 (winner, St Albans)
- Rachel Rhodes: 837.1
You can find the full listings here – and we’re delighted that a huge proportion of the membership took part in at least one Tour event. Thank you all for making it a successful opening year! We’re having glass trophies engraved for our top four, and these will be awarded at suitable moments in the new year.
The Manchester Open itself was fully subscribed, a pattern we’ve been pleased to see this year, held in the great surroundings of the Grosvenor Casino in Didsbury. Another full weekend of backgammon in the increasingly popular Swiss Saturday – Knockout Sunday format produced a great finish to the Tour, with all of our eventual top four making it through to the final 16, and the traditional side events gave everyone a full week of play and a host of winners:
Manchester Open: Winner Seb Wilkinson, runner-up Jon Barnes
Consolation: Winner Brian Lever, runner-up Alexandru Pascu
Last Chance: Winner Ana Mancino, runner-up Mark Manley
1-pointer Shootout: Winner Paul Charles Thompson, runner-up Tariq Siddiqi
Doubles: Winners Lee Gorton & Saul Brody, runners-up Ciortan Radu & Daniel Molan
Freeroll: Winner Lee Gorton, runner-up Kev Jones
Many thanks to Kev Jones and his team for organising a great finish to the year – and we’re looking forward to an even bigger Tour in 2017.