Former World Championship and Masters Finalist, 3-time ranking event winner Barry Hawkins has become one of the most consistent performers since his debut. Long-standing resident in the Top 16 and even longer in the Top 32, let’s learn a little more about ‘The Hawk’ from Kent.
Although turning pro in 1996, the former office clerk’s first spot of recognition came in 2002 when he beat Marco Fu and O’Sullivan in the Scottish Open. However, it wasn’t until 2004/5 where Hawkins started to make headway in various competitions. He reached the semi-finals for the Welsh Open two years running as well as the semis for the World Open (Grand Prix). This was also the time that Hawkins initiated himself in the Top 32, where he has remained ever since.
Barry’s first of his 3 ranking titles came in 2012 at the Australian Goldfields Open where he defeated Peter Ebdon in the finals. Despite not performing well in other tournaments that season, Hawkins was probably fine with that considering he made a substantial run all the way to the finals of the WSC. With impressive victories over the likes of Ding and Selby, it was under unfortunate circumstances that Hawkins came up against the (then) 4-time and defending champion, O’Sullivan.
Considering Hawkins is well known for being one of the best Crucible performers, he actually didn’t have a great record when he first made it to the championship. In fact, in between 2005-10 he got eliminated in the first round, making his record 0W-5L. Hawkins had never made it past the second round until he stormed to the final in 2013. Since then he’s been in 4 semis and a quarter-final year after year. Don’t give up on your dreams, kids.
The remainder of Hawkins’ 3 ranking wins came at: the Players Tour Championship Finals 2014 (aka Players Championship) where the format was significantly shorter, requiring 4 frames for victory; and most recently the Grand Prix in 2017 with a win over Ryan Day.
Hawkins hasn’t won any ranking events since the Grand Prix but he has been keeping himself in contention. In 2018 he reached the final of the Welsh and China Open, as well as the Shanghai Masters – where it has taken the likes of Higgins, Selby and O’Sullivan respectively to deny him the trophies. He did come through with a win over Wilson at the Paul Hunter Classic this year which would have added to his ranking tally, but unfortunately the event lost its ranking status for this year’s iteration, meaning Hawkins remains at 3 ranking wins to his name.
Even though Hawkins isn’t one for the spotlight in the world of Snooker he definitely is worthy of getting some light thrown in his vicinity – a consistent dark horse who performs best at the most prestigious stages; a Triple Crown victory is well within reach for The Hawk from Kent.
Fun fact: Similarly to Judd Trump, Barry Hawkins is actually right handed but cues with his left! He also switches to his natural hand when using the rest!