Mark Williams has continued his dominance in snooker after winning yet another ranking event just months after lifting the World Championship.
Sensationally, the Welshman came back from 9-5 down to beat David Gilbert in a thrilling World Open final in Yushan, China which went all the way to a deciding frame.
Williams, who in May lifted his third World Championship title – his first in 15 years after beating John Higgins in the final, now has the season’s first ‘big money’ ranking event after a superb comeback broke his opponent’s heart.
As well as the trophy, Williams pocketed a massive £150,000 to his name after completing a superb comeback in what will already go down as one of the matches of the season.
Tamworth’s Gilbert appeared to be in pole position for his first ever ranking title when he took a 9-5 lead against the 21-time ranking event winner.
But as Williams grew back into the match the pressure began to tell and the Welshman’s experience and skill saw him turn the match around at the death.
Gilbert had the first clear chance in the decider but missed a red to a corner pocket at 18-1. But a 64 break from Williams put him in control. And victory was complete when he potted the penultimate red..
The amazing victory takes Williams’ career tally of ranking titles to 22 while the £150,000 top prize takes his earnings for the past year well over £1 million. It also means he now tops the leader board in this season’s money list.
Gilbert has now lost two major ranking finals in his career – both in China. He lost the 2015 International Championship final in Daqing to John Higgins in his first ever major final.
World rankings wise, Williams now is up to second place behind Mark Selby after overtaking Ronnie O’Sullivan who has not yet featured this season.
Australian Neil Robertson won the season’s first ranking event – the Riga Masters – but that only had a top prize of £50,000 – just a third of the sum which Williams has won today.