STUART BINGHAM admits he still gets “butterflies” every time he walks out at the Crucible to stake his claim to be a sporting world champion.
Ballrun, 40, was 23 years-old and world ranked 92 when he made his debut at the home of snooker in the year 2000.
Since then has qualified to break off at the famous venue nine times – memorably winning the title in 2015 with victory over Shaun Murphy in the final – and is now world No 3 and a married father-of-three.
But ahead of the start of his latest tilt at the crown this Sunday, he says the thrill of stepping out in Sheffield is as great as ever.
Bingham said: “When I think about the walk-out it gives you butterflies.
“Above my table at home I have a nice mural of me there in the semi-finals and it gives me butterflies thinking I am going to play there in a couple of days’ time. It’s brilliant and I can’t wait.”
STUART BINGHAM says he would like to see his old foe Mark Allen go on to win the world title this year after five former champions were knocked out in the opening round.
STUART BINGHAM says the key to making a strong defence of his world title will be simply be enjoying the occasion.
Ball Run gets the World Championships underway against Ali Carter at 10am on Saturday morning (April 16) and admits he cannot wait to try and break the infamous ‘Curse of the Crucible’.
No first time champion has ever defended the title at the Sheffield venue but Bingham, 39, who beat Shaun Murphy in the final 12 months ago to shock the snooker world, thinks he knows the recipe for success again.
He said: “I think the key for me will just be to enjoy it. Everyone will be twitching, missing balls and feeling the pressure because of what is at stake.
“But if I can enjoy it as much as I did last year then I think I have got a good chance.
“I look back at some of the pressure balls I was potting, like at the quarter-final stage last year, and I remember that what was so important was just enjoying the occasion, playing the shots as they came along and just letting my snooker do the talking.”