Date of Birth: 5 July 1991
Highest Ranking: 16
Highest Break: 145
Michael White (born 5 July 1991) is a Welsh professional snooker player from Neath. At the age of nine he became the youngest player to have made a century break in competitive play and he was the world amateur champion by 14. White is currently the youngest player inside the top 16 in the world rankings and won his first ranking event title at the 2015 Indian Open.
White first showed potential by becoming the youngest player to make a century break: a 105 in March 2001, when aged nine. In 2001, he was invited to the Crucible, where John Parrott commented: ‘I hope I’ve retired before I have to play him!’
He won a number of junior and later amateur events, and in 2006 became the youngest ever winner of the IBSF World Grand Prix, winning it aged 14. He also won the European under-19 Championship, beating Vincent Muldoon in the final.
He turned professional for the 2007/2008 season, but he wasn’t allowed to play in the first ranking event of the season, the 2007 Shanghai Masters as it fell short of his 16th birthday which allowed his opponent Lee Walker a walkover. Previously Shaun Murphy had been allowed to play aged 15.
In his first professional match, the Masters qualifying, he shocked Leicester player Tom Ford 4–0, however he lost to eventual champion Barry Hawkins 5–2 in the following round. His first season on the Main Tour was relatively unsuccessful, winning only four matches in the seven ranking events. In his first ranking tournament, the Grand Prix, he finished last in his group, beating Tony Drago but losing his other 6 matches. His most successful run was beating Shailesh Jogia 10–4 in the first round of the World Championship qualifiers, but he lost 10–4 to Barry Pinches in the next. These results meant that he dropped off the Main Tour.
He regained a place on the Main Tour for the 2009/2010 Season by finishing top of the Welsh rankings.
In the qualifiers for the 2009 Shanghai Masters he beat former world champion John Parrott 5–0 (who later joked “I hope I retire before I have to play him…again” in reference to his earlier comment) before losing 5–3 to Mark Davis. His best run during the season was to the last 48 of the UK Championship, with victories over Daniel Wells, Jin Long and Jamie Burnett before losing 9–4 to Liang Wenbo. This meant that by the end of the season he had done enough to retain his tour status.
He started the new season by winning three qualifying matches in the 2010 Shanghai Masters, including a 5–1 win over Dominic Dale, before losing to Peter Ebdon by the same scoreline. He won two matches, before losing in the third qualifying round on two further occasions during the season.
At the minor-ranking Euro PTC Event 3 White beat the likes of Tom Ford and Marco Fu to reach the quarter-finals, where he lost 2–4 to Andrew Higginson. He went on to finish 51st on the PTC Order of Merit and 71st in the world rankings.
White narrowly missed out on a place in the 2012 Players Tour Championship Finals as he finished 25th on the Order of Merit, with only 24 players qualifying for the event. His placing was largely thanks to a semi-final run in Event 7, where his hopes of a first professional title were ended by Ronnie O’Sullivan, who won 4–2.
Even though he could not qualify for a ranking event throughout the season he ended it at a then career high world ranking of 54, meaning he had risen 12 places during the year.
White began the 2012/2013 season by winning three matches to qualify for the Wuxi Classic and two matches to qualify for the International Championship but lost in the wildcard once at the venues in China in both, to Zhou Yuelong 4–5 and Lü Haotian 5–6 respectively.
White beat Craig Steadman and Ken Doherty to qualify for the UK Championship, the first time he had made it into the first round of a ranking event. In his first domestic televised match in a ranking event, White played world number two Mark Selby and recovered from 0–2 down to level at 3–3 before succumbing to a 3–6 defeat, with White stating afterwards that he would definitely be back for more.
He kept true to his word by beating Zhang Anda 10–5 and Andrew Higginson 10–4 (he trailed 1–3 but won nine of the next ten frames) to qualify for the first round of the biggest tournament in snooker, the World Championship. He beat compatriot and two-time winner of the event Mark Williams in the opening round 10–6, with Williams admitting he had been outplayed in every department of the game.
He beat fellow qualifier Dechawat Poomjaeng 13–3 in the last 16 and faced Ricky Walden in his first ranking event quarter-final, losing 6–13. White increased his ranking to world number 34, a climb of 20 spots during the season which was the most of any player on tour.
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