STUART BINGHAM admitted his “big chance” at becoming world No 1 was ended with defeat to Ali Carter at the World Open – but Bull Run plans to work his way back into the running for top spot over the next couple of years.
Heading into the season’s third ranking event in China last month, Ball Run had a chance at becoming only snooker’s 12th-ever top ranked player if he won the title with current leading Mark Selby being knocked out early on (the full permutations are excellently explained by @ProSnookerBlog here).
But a nip-and-tuck 5-3 loss in round two to bogeyman and eventual champion Carter, after an opening 5-4 win over Stuart Carrington, means Bingham would now need a sensational run of results to challenge again this season, with Selby about £80,000 clear on the money list (the top 10 is pictured below).
The 2015 world champion explained: “That was my big chance gone. I won in Shanghai two years ago and also at an Asian Tour event and I’ll have those points coming off so this was probably my last chance at world No 1 for the foreseeable future. I would need another two good years now to be in contention.
“I had my chance of getting there but it just was not to be this time.
“And you might ask is it world champion or world No 1 you would rather be, and I think most would say world champion. But I can assure you I want to be world No 1 as well and I’ll be aiming to get there again.”
It was said this was Carter’s eighth straight win over Bingham but the Basildon pro pointed out that run is punctured by a Championship League win for him at Crondon Park in recent years.
Even so, it was ultimately another disappointment, despite the fact Bingham has now lost to eventual champions Anthony McGill (Indian Open) and Carter (World Open) at the last two events.
Bingham is next in action at the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany (August 24-28) and it is a tournament which has a special place in his heart because it is held at the same time as the birthday of his son Shae, who will be five on the 28th.
The world No 2 is also looking forward to this season’s new Home Nations series which will feature the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Opens – although he says hopes of scooping the £1million for winning all four are rather slim!
He said: “It means winning 28 matches in a row I think – so you’ve probably got more chance of winning the lottery!
“But there is some good prize money on offer and some great venues so it is something I’m really looking forward to it.”
Bingham and his family are now settled into a new home in Basildon and – more specifically – he is settled into his new practice room.
He explained: “It was a house which came with an outhouse which was originally built in 1987 to use as a snooker room, so it was perfect for me.
“I’ve donated the old table to the Danny Green Fund charity and the new one is in now so I plan to knuckle down to some serious practice.”
Bingham also plans to get a television set-up in his practice room so he can follow the action at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and he will be cheering on one British sprinter in particular.
He said: “Of course I am looking forward to Usain Bolt and the big stars, but I also hope Dina Asher-Smith does well because I met her when I did Question of Sport last year and she very nice.”