Masters: Shaun Murphy motivated by more 'Triple Crown' success

Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy was runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final of the 2017 UK Championship
Masters 2018 on the BBC
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Date: 14-21 January
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app. Live text on the final on the BBC Sport website.

World number six Shaun Murphy says trying to emulate snooker's greats by winning multiple Triple Crown events keeps him motivated.

The 35-year-old is one of only 10 men to have won the 'Big Three', which comprises of the World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters.

Murphy begins his quest for a second Masters title against Ali Carter in the first round on Wednesday afternoon.

He said he still gets an "almost child-like excitement" from the big events.

"In the 'Triple Crown club' there are only 10 members," Murphy, the 2015 Masters champion, told BBC Sport. "But some of those members are at the gold platinum level, whereas I am still at entry level.

"They are on a different tier and rightly so. For me and a couple of the other lads it is time to try to win them again."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Masters 2015: Shaun Murphy wins in style

The Nottingham-based potter won the World Championship in 2005 and the UK Championship in 2008 and believes he has plenty of time left to repeat that success.

"I feel like I am in the middle of my career," Murphy added. "And I feel like I have a long time ahead of me to have another crack at these."

Snooker's Triple Crown 10
Steve Davis, Terry Griffiths, Alex Higgins, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Mark Williams, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy.

Murphy came close to winning his fourth snooker 'major' in December, reaching the final of the UK Championship where he lost 10-5 to Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Having already reached three other ranking event finals this season, Murphy acknowledges he's had a good season.

But he is far from satisfied with his one victory - a 10-8 win over O'Sullivan in the Champion of Champions in November.

"The bare fact of the matter is that I have reached four finals and only won one," Murphy added.

"The UK Championship was a great week, but I lost.

"We are all competitive machines; we are trying to have a good week, we are trying to win and the loss hurt.

"I was in the match at 5-5 but O'Sullivan stepped it up a gear and I was unable to go the course with him. It is up to me to try to get better."

He said his passion and enthusiasm remains as strong as ever.

"Losing still hurts me and I am here to carry on," Murphy said. "I still love it. I had a few weeks off over Christmas but I have pretty much lived on the table since the year has turned and I cannot wait to get back out there."

Top Stories