Stuart Bingham clinches first ranking event in Australia
Stuart Bingham has won his first ranking tournament as he clinched a 9-8 victory over Mark Williams in the final of the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open.
Williams, the world No 1, looked set to win the 19th ranking event of his career as he led 8-5, but Bingham made a stunning recovery to win the last four frames and take the title.
"This is without doubt the best week of my life. It's just an unbelievable feeling," said Bingham, 35, a professional player for 16 years who has experienced both the highs and lows of snooker.
"This proves the depth in the standard of snooker and shows anyone on the tour can win a tournament if they knuckle down and put the hard work in.
"I've doubted myself before and when I lost 10 matches on the trot my confidence was at an all-time low and you hope and wonder where the next win is coming from."
He had never gone beyond the quarter-finals of ranking events before and had received criticism over a perceived inability to win close matches.
That boiled over this week in a bitter public spat with Mark Allen before and after their clash in the last eight, which Bingham, the current world No 15, won.
Bingham, who was once ranked 76th out of 90 players, said that this victory, worth US$60,000 (Dh220,000), showed his mettle. "I don't care what anyone says. I have this for the rest of my life and no one can take this title away from me."
Williams conceded that he was shocked to have lost the final. "At 8-5 I was cruising and had him in all sorts of trouble," Williams said. "He managed to get out of a snooker and won it from then on."