JOHN HIGGINS walked away with the biggest paycheck handed out in snooker history outside the UK after he beat Stuart Bingham to win the inaugural China Championship.
The Wizard of Wishaw took home the mega £200,000 jackpot after beating the 2015 world champion 10-7 in Guangzhou and in doing so became the first man to lift the trophy.
The new event, which featured 16 of the world’s top stars, will be upgraded to major ranking event status next year.
And four-times world champion Higgins clinched its first ever tournament in style hitting three consecutive century breaks to get himself to the winning line.
It was the 41-year-old’s first major triumph since winning the International Championship last year .
Higgins earlier beat Mark Williams, Ali Carter and Mark Allen to set up a final against Bingham who appeared to have rediscovered his top form after reaching the semi-finals of the International Championship just a week ago.
But it was the Scot who started the better as he won the first three frames.
Bingham, though, responded in brilliant fashion winning the next three frames with runs of 102, 112 and 52 to level the scores.
But then it was Higgins’ turn to bounce back as he won the next two frames before Bingham reduced his arrears to 5-4 at the end of the first session.
The Basildon potter made a great start to the final session as he won the first two frames to take the lead in the match for the first time at 6-5.
Then it was Higgins’ turn to find momentum as two breaks of 50 plus put him back ahead before Bingham levelled the scores again at 7-7 with a break of 84.
And with an exciting finish in store, Higgins earned his way to the lucrative prize with a flurry period of snooker worthy to win any tournament.
A break of 134 put him back in the lead before he clinched the match in impression fashion with runs of 100 and 101 to win 10-7.
Higgins and Bingham will return to action back on British soil next week in the Champion of Champions event.
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