Australian Goldfields Open 2011 - Stuart Bingham wins Oz trophy

21:55:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Stuart Bingham, the champion of the 2011 Australian Open
The first edition of the Australian Goldfields Open has found its champion and his name is Stuart Bingham. The Essex man has completed a full run, defeating names like Ding Junhui, Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy to end up in the final next to the Welshman Mark Williams. Although Stu was 8-5 down, he found the strength and the will to make a full comeback and win the cue battle 9-8.

The first session of the final found the boys all square at 4-4, after Bingham opened the scoreline with a marvellous 139 break and Williams responded with a perfect 89 for a 1-1. However, they didn't shared frames, as at the interval, the Englishman was already 3-1 in front.
15 minutes later, Williams’ runs of 90 and 84 were not only levelling the result but also put his name in front for the very first time, with 4-3. One more frame was to be played and that one had Stu's name written all over it. As it shows, the cue battle was going to be a tight one.

As the last session kicked off "The Welsh Potting Machine" throw himself in the battle with breaks of 52, 31, 32 and 71 to take the lead of this match with a fabulous 7-4 scoreline! This wasn't good news for Bingham and as the interval was about to start he needed to pull back a frame, to keep his spirits up and his hopes alive. Fortunately for him, he did it, so the boys entered to their cabins with the Welshman leading 7-5.

Mark Williams, the runner-up of the 2011 Australian Open
The audience received the lads with a fabulous round of applause and after Stuart missed a yellow at the beginning the 13th frame, Mark got it to expand his lead with a little bit of help from a 68 break. It was 8-5 and Williams only needed one frame to win the tournament. But Stuart was going to make his life hard.

A fluked snooker, a break of 69 and another one of 76 from the Essex-man were levelling the match and forcing a decider, as the boys were all tight up at eight a piece. It was one of the greatest comebacks that I've ever seen and it has proved how well Bingham can play under pressure.
The last frame saw a break of 46 from Stuart and a struggling Mark who was trying to keep up with the Englishman. Unfortunately for him, Stuart left him in need of a snooker, a horrible kick provoking to miss that snooker and so Bingham was becoming a champion.

It's been a great tournament and Stuart Bingham's victory is a well deserved one. He’s been a professional player for 16 years and this was the first time to reach the quarter-finals, the semis and the final. And to overcome all that with winning the competition ... well, that's something that deserves all our admiration. It was top drawer and I'm really pleased to see him smile and thrilled about this major achievement. 

Stu, happy to pot the last ball and cash the victory
 If you watched the ceremony, you know as well as I do that he was so emotional and stunned he beaten the world number one that he was almost incapable to speak. Who can blame the guy? He's been through so many defeats and close matches that, when AT LEAST, the victory comes you can't even believe it.

On the other hand I can't help felling sorry for Mark Williams. He's played greatly this week and he practically has the victory in his hands. It must be hard to lose as you are just one step away from lifting the trophy. Makes me remember the 2010 UK Championship when a similar story happened and he lost to John Higgins. But I'm sure he will take the best out of this experience and try and hit the ball to reach another ranking event final and win it. Undoubtedly, he is one of the greatest players that have even lived on this planet and this snooker season will see him win an important tournament.

After a crazy month, 18 days to be more precise, of snooker at full speed the boys will return home. They've been to China, Thailand and Australia so they must be tired and wanting to get home to their families and time-zones :-))
However, the battle will restart very soon, because from the very fist day of August the Shanghai Masters qualifiers will kick off.