Bingham reached the final without meeting another top 16 player
Stuart Bingham is four frames away from the Coral Welsh Open title having taken a 5-3 lead over Judd Trump in the first session of the final.
World number two Bingham may feel he should have been further ahead as he led 4-0 at the interval and missed a crucial pink in the last frame of the session.
First to nine frames when they resume at 7pm takes the £70,000 top prize and the Ray Reardon Trophy.
Basildon’s Bingham made a 69 clearance to win the opening frame from 45-0 behind, and an even better 65 clearance in frame two after Trump had broken down on 64. And a run of 75 from Bingham in the third put him 3-0 ahead.
Trump had chances in the fourth but was unlucky to knock a red in when he split the pack off the blue, and later missed a short range red to a top corner. Bingham punished him to extend his lead.
The fifth came down to the colours and when Bingham’s attempted long green missed its target, Trump was able to pot green, brown and blue to get a frame on the board. And the 27-year-old from Bristol fired runs of 68 and 58 to close to 4-2. Bingham then made an 87 in the seventh to restore a three-frame lead.
The last of the session took 40 minutes as both players squandered chances. Bingham over-cut the final pink to a centre pocket – trying to get position on the black – and a safety exchange followed. An attempted cross double from Bingham hit the jaws of a centre pocket, and world number four Trump potted the pink to close the gap.
Bingham is aiming for his fourth ranking title and first piece of silverware since he lifted the World Championship trophy 21 months ago. He has been in the Welsh Open final once before – in 2013 when he lost 9-8 to Stephen Maguire.
Trump is battling for his seventh ranking title and is aiming to win two in the same season for the first time having landed the European Masters crown in October. It’s the 13th ranking final of his career and first at the Welsh Open.