AN IMPRESSIVE fightback from Judd Trump helped him land snooker’s newest prize after beating Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-7.
Trump came back from 4-1 down and 7-4 behind against the five-times world champion before sealing the deal as he became the first World Grand Prix champion netting the £100,000 cash prize.
The new non-ranking event featured 32 of the best performing players since the start of last year’s World Championship,
The pair, who are both considered to be among the hottest properties in the sport at this time, met in a major final for the third time this season following their previous showdown clashes at the end of last year in the Champion of Champions and the UK Championship finals.
O’Sullivan won both events in thrilling matches but it proved to be third time lucky for Trump as he earned his second piece of silverware of the season following his Australian Open triumph at the start of the campaign,
Facing a man of O’Sullivan’s talents and prowess in the game, a good start for Trump was key if he was to land what would be a significant win with the World Championship just around the corner.
And Trump got off to an ideal start in his bid of beating his snooker idol – the man he grew up watching in aspiration – by winning the opening frame after O’Sullivan missed the penultimate red.
But O’Sullivan responded in typical fashion with a break of 90 in the second frame to level the scores before he got the better of the third frame in a 41 minute frame which saw four reds surrounding the pink hanging over a corner pocket.
Trump looked favourite in frame four until he played a loose shot which left him out of position on the final yellow. O’Sullivan again got the better of a safety exchange and cleared the table to go 3-1.
O’Sullivan then fired in a 105, remarkably his first century of the tournament, to lead 4-1.
But Trump appears to be made of much sterner metal these days and refused to let O’Sullivan’s early dominance get the better of him. And when O’Sullivan missed a brown to centre in frame six it allowed world number seven Trump to pull one back with a run of 50.
And O’Sullivan lost his rhythm over the next two frame making a series of errors as Trump took full advantage getting back to 4-4.
But the five-times world champion got back ahead at the halfway stage as a break of 89 gave him a 5-4 lead at the end of the first session.
And earning that slender lead looked to prove crucial as O’Sullivan came quickly out of the blocks at the start of the evening session with a break of 96 before extending his lead to 7-4.
Again falling behind by three frames it looked like Trump was going to suffer again to the hands of O’Sullivan for the third major final of the season but his hopes of ending that sequence were boosted when a break of 57 helped him reduce his deficit to 7-5.
Trump dominated the next as well with runs of 47 and 25 to trail by just one frame at the mid-session interval.
Growing in confidence again, Trump then levelled the scores after the restart with a stunning 142 total clearance – the highest break of the tournament.
The match was turning and Trump used his momentum to take the lead for just the second time of the match after he built a 60-35 lead and clinched the frame after laying a snooker on the last red.
The Bristol star then made it five frames on the bounce when a superb long brown allowed him to clear the remaining balls to be on the verge of glory.
And Trump made 36 in frame 17 before missing the blue to centre but O’Sullivan’s response faltered on just nine. Trump knocked in a long red and added 29 which proved enough to earn the silverware.
Trump’s route to World Grand Prix glory
R1 – beat Dominic Dale 4-0
R2 – beat Joe Perry 4-2
QF – beat Mark Williams 4-3
SF – beat Martin Gould 6-5
Final – beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-7