Gary Wilson capped a brilliant return to form to claim a first career title with a 9-2 win over Joe O’Connor at the Scottish Open.
After a rapid-fire afternoon session, he had over three hours to think about the winning line.
In the third final of his career, he settled the nerves by taking the opening frame of the evening and went on to wrap up the title and get his hands on the Stephen Hendry Trophy.
Having beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan, Hossein Vafaei, Kyren Wilson and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh on the way to the final, it was a deserved first career title for the 37-year-old.
But the night belonged to Wilson at the Meadowbank Sports Centre, and victory opens doors to the big league for the man from Wallsend who will wake up as No. 18 in the world.
There was a feeling that attack was O’Connor’s best option, and he took aim at a long red with his first shot of the evening. It narrowly missed and Wilson got his arm going before running out of position and missing a tough blue.
Wilson punished O’Connor’s mistakes in the afternoon. O’Connor had a chance to return the favour, but missed a red to the yellow pocket and Wilson stepped in with a nerve-settling break, extricated himself from a snooker and closed out the frame to extend his advantage.
The opening session was largely free-flowing and attacking, and it came as a surprise when the 10th descended into a protracted safety battle with reds clustered in the baulk area.
Wilson got in first only to miss an easy yellow. He got a second chance, and passed that up to suggest nerves were starting to bite.
O’Connor had only the baulk colours to work with, and despite a run of good pots was not able to make a telling contribution. He broke down again and Wilson punished him with a classy clearance of the final three reds and colours to get within one frame of victory.
O’Connor looked thoroughly deflated when leaving a red on off the break in the 11th frame, and it proved to be his final shot of the match as Wilson stroked it in and compiled a title-winning break of 94.
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