Stuart Bingham won Group Four of the 2022 BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational by beating Kyren Wilson 3-2 in the stage final at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Bingham reached the playoffs by beating Scott Donaldson 3-0 in his final game to set up a semi-final showdown with Mark Selby. A fine display from 2015 Crucible king Bingham saw him edge out current World Champion Selby 3-2, with breaks of 137, 51 and 65.
Defending champion Wilson meanwhile had looked imperious all day long and dispatched of Donaldson 3-0 in good time with breaks of 121 and 75 on the way to setting up a final meeting with Bingham.
When it came to the final, Bingham found himself 2-0 up and one away from the Winners’ Group, but Wilson has proven time and time again that he will never give up. The Warrior battled to take the next two with breaks of 71 and 50 to force a decider. The final frame went in Bingham’s favour and he fired in a clearance of 94 to win it and progress.
Bingham, who is set to face Wilson at the Masters next week, said: “I have played pretty solidly since I have been here over the last four days. I am over the moon. It’s a great start to the year. I made a few nice 100s. It was nice to get one over Kyren ahead of next week. He beat me 3-1 in the group stage. I got lucky to beat him in the end. Next week is a different kettle of fish in front of a packed crowd at Alexandra Palace. I felt like my game has been there and not turned up. It’s nice this week to turn up and make a few 100s. Just to hopefully put me in good stead for the rest of the season.”
Each of the seven players faces each other once in the round-robin group stage, after which the top four players in the league table progress to Saturday evening’s play-offs. The eventual group champion advances to February’s Winners’ Group with the remaining players who finished in the top five during the league phase continuing to Group Five which begins tomorrow when three new players join the tournament. The bottom two players in each group phase are eliminated. All matches are best of five.
The tournament carries a prize fund of £205,000 with players earning £100 per frame won with significant bonuses for their final group position and increased prize money in the Winners’ Group. A place in the 2022 Cazoo Champion of Champions is also on the line with each group featuring seven players with matches being held over two days.
Martin Gould, Ali Carter, and Brown join at Group 5 tomorrow from 11 am on FreeSports in the UK and Ireland as well as networks worldwide. Table 2 is available globally on Matchroom.Live excluding the Nordic and Baltic regions.
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