Ian Burns (snooker player)
Burns turned professional in 2012 after qualifying in his first attempt of the Q School and gained a two-year tour card for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 snooker seasons. He won four matches in the event, concluding with a 4–3 victory over veteran Rod Lawler to seal his card.
Burns first match as a professional was a 3–5 defeat to Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon in qualifying for the 2012 Wuxi Classic. Burns reached the final qualifying round for the first time when attempting to reach the UK Championship. he defeated Michael Leslie, Kurt Maflin and Anthony Hamilton before being beaten 2–6 by Dominic Dale. Burns did come through four qualifying rounds to play in the main draw of a ranking event for the first time at the World Open, in Haikou, China. He defeated Saleh Mohammad 5–1 in the wildcard round, before losing by the same scoreline to top 16 player Barry Hawkins in the last 32.
The 2012 Welsh Open saw Burns qualify for his second ranking event, as he defeated Jack Lisowski 4–1 before receiving a walkover due to the withdrawal of Jamie Cope. At the main venue in Newport, he lost in the last 32 to 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson 1–4. Burns also had a very good season in the minor-ranking Players Tour Championship events, with his best finish coming at the fifth European Tour Event, where he beat the likes of Marcus Campbell and Liang Wenbo, but then lost to Ding Junhui in the quarter-finals. He also reached the last 16 in two other events which helped him finish 35th on the PTC Order of Merit, just outside the top 26 who qualified for the Finals. Burns beat Joel Walker 10–8 in the first round of World Championship Qualifying, but his season ended when he was defeated 2–10 by Yu Delu in the following round. Burns was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award at the World Snooker Annual Award Ceremony. Burns finished his first year on tour ranked world number 68, the highest of any of the debutants.
In the second ranking event of the season, Burns beat Ryan Causton 5–3, Chen Zhe 5–2, and Matthew Selt 5–2 to qualify for the main stage of the Australian Goldfields Open, held in Bendigo. He played world number two Mark Selby in the first round and led the match 3–0, before Selby levelled at 3–3. Burns won the next frame and had numerous chances to secure a shock win but was ultimately defeated 5–4. At the Welsh Open he had a 4–3 win over Yu Delu, before losing 4–2 to Matthew Stevens in the last 64. In the minor-ranking European Tour events, Burns dropped just two frames in winning four matches to reach the quarter-finals of the Kay Suzanne Memorial Cup, where he was beaten 4–2 by Jamie Jones. Burns ended the season outside of the top 64 in the world rankings which would have relegated him from the tour, however by being placed 44th on the European Order of Merit he has received one of the eight spots to earn a two-year main tour card for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons which were available to non-qualified players.
Burns won three matches in the qualifying for the Australian Goldfields Open, before narrowly losing 5–4 to Mark Joyce in the final round. The first event he could reach this season was the International Championship and he beat Dominic Dale 6–5 and Craig Steadman 6–3 to reach the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time. He would be defeated 6–2 against Michael White, but lost two of the frames from 59–0 and 61–0 ahead which Burns felt flattered the scoreline. However, he failed to build on this during the rest of the season as he was eliminated in the first round of both the UK Championship and Welsh Open and could not qualify for any other event. Burns could also only win one match all year in the minor-ranking European Tour events.
Burns played at the venue stage of six ranking events in the 2015/2016 season, the most in a single year of his career so far. He won three matches to play in the Australian Goldfields Open and beat Xiao Guodong 5–3 in the first round which saw him play in the last 16 of a ranking event for the second time, but he lost 5–2 to Judd Trump. At the Paul Hunter Classic he recorded victories over Ryan Causton, Sanderson Lam, Martin O'Donnell and Thor Chuan Leong to make the quarter-finals, where he was defeated 4–0 by Mark King. A week later he beat King 6–2 to qualify for the International Championship, but lost 6–3 to Mark Williams. Burns saw off Aditya Mehta 5–1 and John Higgins 5–3 to make his debut at the German Masters and was edged out 5–4 by Michael Holt in the first round. The final ranking event Burns qualified for this season was the China Open and, after coming through a wildcard round, he whitewashed Peter Ebdon 5–0, before losing 5–3 to Stuart Bingham. Burns reached the final qualifying round for the World Championship, but was heavily defeated 10–2 by Ebdon. His end of season ranking of 62 is the highest of his career to date and the first time he has been within the top 64.
Burns qualified for the World Open and lost 5–2 to Neil Robertson in the first round. He lost in the third round of the Scottish Open and Welsh Open without picking up a frame. Burns qualified for the China Open, but was defeated 5–1 by John Higgins in the opening round. At 66th in the world rankings, Burns would have lost his place on the tour due to not being in the top 64, but he took the final spot on the one-year list to be awarded a two-year card.
Burns married Alison, an accountant of Lancashire County Council, in May 2014. They have been together since 2010.