Stephen Maguire has won his first ranking event title in five years, after clinching the Welsh Open in a deciding frame against Stuart Bingham.
It was Maguire’s first tournament victory since the China Open in 2008. He is a player who has always being touted as a ‘future world champion’, but hasn’t performed to his true capabilities in recent seasons.
The first session saw both players battling it out for an early advantage. Maguire started the better and was 4-2 up before Bingham levelled at 4-4 at the end of the afternoon session.
Bingham came out strongest in the evening session by winning three of the first four frames. However after this Maguire came back strongly and won the next three frames to lead 8-7. Bingham took the next to take the match into a deciding frame.
Maguire showed nerves of steel in the final frame as he made a classy break of 82. In the past Maguire has being known to often punch the table in frustration, however this time as soon as he sealed the victory he punched the table in delight and relief.
The final was played at a very high standard as it saw three century breaks and eleven breaks that were over 50.
Both players came through difficult semi-final match ups, Stuart Bingham dispatched of last year’s winner Ding Junhui in a deciding frame and Maguire beat Judd Trump by a two frame margin.
After the victory Maguire said: “I forgot what it felt like to be a winner at the end of a tournament, it’s the best feeling ever.” He went on to say: “I’ve been playing snooker non-stop since the New Year and I’m match sharp.”
After the Welsh open the ranking list has also being updated, by his victory Maguire is at world number six whilst Stuart Bingham’s impressive form sees him move up three places to number seven. Judd Trump is back to number one after a short period at number two