October 11 will be a day world number 61 Rory McLeod will never forget after he clinched his first ranking title, winning the Ruhr Open.
The Northamptonshire born potter beat world number 70 Tian Pengfei in a surprise final to win the season’s third European Tour event.
It was McLeod’s first piece of silverware in a snooker career which has spanned more than 24 years.
But tonight will go down as McLeod’s finest in the sport after he beat the Chinese star 4-2 to claim the trophy and the £18,750 cash prize.
The victory means McLeod, snooker’s only black professional, has all but sealed his place in the World Grand Prix taking place later in the season. He will also feature in the PTC Finals.
He could also feature in next month’s Champion of Champions event if defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan withdraws his invitation.
Breaks of 57 and 41 helped McLeod to a 2-0 lead before Pengfei won the third frame with a run of 78.
McLeod then made a break of 58 to pt him on the verge of glory before Pengfei fought back with a century break of 106 to make it 3-2.
But there was no stopping McLeod in frame six who sealed a memorable win
McLeod joins Barry Hawkins and Ali Carter to have won European Tour events so far this season. The next event is the Bulgarian Open in Sofia which takes place next month.
Speaking to World Snooker after his victory he said: “It feels beautiful, it’s everything that I’ve really wanted.”