Ali Carter defeated Shaun Murphy 3-1 to seal his place in the Championship League Snooker’s Winners’ Group.
Carter took the first frame with an excellent century break of 116 before doubling his lead with a 56 break. Murphy reduced the deficit to one frame with a 77 break to win the third, but the defending Champion of Champions winner couldn’t complete the comeback as Carter took the fourth and final frame with a superb break of 92.
“I played really well today, I tried my absolute heart out,” said Carter after the final. “I came here feeling like I was really struggling for form. It’s painful when you keep turning up and getting beat but this tournament has been kind to me in kick starting my season. If I look back to 2008 when I got to the final of the World Championship it was probably down to this tournament, so hopefully I can get going from here.
“Shaun was hitting the ball great, it really was one-hit snooker so I’m delighted to get the win.”
Carter had raced to the final after beating Judd Trump in a convincing 3-0 win in his semi-final earlier, an impressive feat as Trump had previously lost only four frames in the group phase.
Carter will now join Zhou Yuelong, Mark Selby and Kyren Wilson in the Winners’ Group, which takes place at Ricoh Arena on March 28th and 29th.
Having finished fifth on the round robin group table, Liang Wenbo will return to compete in Group Five along with Shaun Murphy, Barry Hawkins and Judd Trump. They will be joined by Martin Gould, Ricky Walden, and Mark Williams. Tom Ford was eliminated from the tournament. Mark Allen withdrew for family reasons having played one of his six round robin games. Matches featuring Allen were therefore not considered on the group table.
Championship League Snooker is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete with matches broadcast on a host of betting websites.
Group Five commences at midday on Tuesday (January 23).
Ali Carter 3-1 Shaun Murphy
116-12 (Carter 116), 62-22 (Carter 56), 0-77 (Murphy 77), 92-16 (Murphy 92)
Judd Trump 0-3 Ali Carter
0-102 (Carter 58), 2-71 (Carter 63), 0-104 (Carter 76)
Barry Hawkins 2-3 Shaun Murphy
70-33, 70-11 (Hawkins 69), 0-89 (Murphy 89), 0-84 (Murphy 83), 16-61 (Murphy 61)