SHAUN Murphy ended a wait of two years for a major ranking title to his name after he clinched a dramatic final-frame victory over Stuart Bingham to win the World Grand Prix.
Murphy won 10-9 to lift his sixth ranking title of his career against the man he lost to in last year’s World Championship final.
Victory was extra sweet for Murphy as it lifted him to fourth place in the world rankings and meant an end to his long wait for ranking title glory which came in the then named World Open in 2014 – though he did win the Masters last year which is an invitational event.
Murphy became the second winner of the World Grand Prix following Judd Trump’s triumph last year against Ronnie O’Sullivan.
In a close and topsy-turvey contest throughout, Murphy dominated the opening proceedings taking a 4-1 lead just after the first interval.
But reigning world champion Bingham, playing in his first final since his memorable Crucible win almost twelve months ago, stormed right back into the final winning the next four frames to take a slender 5-4 lead at the halfway stage.
The first four frames of the evening session were shared meaning an exciting finish was on the cards with Bingham leading 7-6 at the final interval of the match.
Murphy responded well after the restart levelling the contest at 7-7 before going back in front at 8-7.
Bingham responded but a missed red was duly punished by Murphy who edged back in front at a crucial stage at 9-8 with a 120 break.
However Bingham dominayted the next frame to take it to a final frame decider.
But Bingham’s golden chance came and went when he missed a tricky red along the bottom cushion allowing Murphy to score the points he needed to get over the winning line.
Murphy’s Route to World Grand Prix Glory
R1 beat Michael White 4-0
R2 beat Martin Gould 4-1
QF beat Liang Wenbo 4-0
SF beat Ding Junhui 6-3
Final beat Stuart Bingham 10-9