Shaun Murphy has revealed that his return to form in this week’s Scottish Open has come at a critical time.
Later today the world number 11 will be hoping to secure his first ranking title in almost two years after suffering a poor start to the season.
Before this week’s Scottish Open began, Murphy had only pocketed £19,000 in prize money from the 2018/19 campaign after suffering one of his worst runs in his professional career having lost six times in the first round of world ranking events.
But a week which has seen him find his winning ways again after a stint on the BBC commentary box following his early UK Championship exit – could see him win his first ranking event trophy since March 2017.
Murphy has this week beaten Sunny Akani, Michael Holt, Nigel Bond, Kyren Wilson, Sam Baird and Judd Trump to reach the Scottish Open final.
And the sudden transformation in form means now Murphy has earned enough money to put him in the top 32 of the one-year ranking list – meaning he is back in contention to compete in next year’s World Grand Prix event.
Prior to the Scottish Open, his chances of making the £100k top prize competition seemed to be in deep jeopardy.
But victory against Mark Allen in today’s final will seal the deal as far as his place in the Cheltenham event is concerned.
Speaking to Eurosport after his 6-3 win over Judd Trump, Murphy said the Scottish Open has turned his season around.
“Whatever happens tomorrow (the final) this week has turned my year around,” he said.
“Before I came here I wasn’t in the top 32 of the one-year list and was struggling for the World Grand Prix – but now I must be very close to getting in that 32 now, if not already in it.
“Being in the final is a massive bonus for me from where I’ve been this year but make no bones about it we will be shaking hands trying to kill each other.”
But Murphy knows he will face a player who is enjoying the best spell of his playing career.
Mark Allen will be hoping to end 2018 in style by lifting his third major trophy of the year.
In his best calendar year of his professional career, Allen has won the Masters for the first time, the International Championship and could add the Scottish Open to his ranks. He also appeared in last week’s UK Championship final.
According to Cuetracker.net, Murphy has the better head-to-head record between the pair having won 12 out of 18 matches.
However, this will be the pair’s first meeting in a major ranking event in more than two-and-a-half years.
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