Phil Haigh ✍️
Jack Lisowski and Stuart Bingham finished their snooker action for 2022 in successful style, becoming the first two men to book a spot in the Championship League Winners’ Group.
Lisowski won Group One on Tuesday, beating Matt Selt in the final, before Bingham claimed Group Two on Thursday night, downing Rob Milkins in the finale.
There are five more spots to be taken in the Winners’ Group, but the two Englishmen can relax knowing they have their places secured, with the winner of the tournament earning a spot in next year’s Champion of Champions.
‘I’ve really enjoyed it,’ said Lisowski on Tuesday. ‘I think I’ve been playing some good stuff. I had a great time. I really enjoy these events. I am happy to get the job done but equally, I wouldn’t have minded coming back tomorrow and going again in Group Two.
‘It’s good match practice and now I need to focus on the Masters. I will get ready for the complete change of scenery. I am scoring well and I am enjoying my snooker. It’s just my safety and these tournaments do show that up. There’s definitely room for improvement on that side. I’m scoring well and having fun though, I am happy.
‘I think these formats sort of suit me. There have been some surprise winners of this tournament over the years.’
Bingham has endured a slow start to the season but found form impressively in Group Two and hopes he can kick on in 2023.
‘I didn’t come here with a lot of confidence,’ he admitted. ‘I got lucky I think to stay in the first group. It didn’t look good this morning after losing to Matt 3-0. From there, sat in my chair I thought something has to change and something has to click.
‘From there, I started to make century after century. Something has clicked. I am delighted to win Group Two. I didn’t know if I just needed to settle. The first few matches are so important. I got lucky last night against Ryan Day.
‘This is a great tournament in itself. It will give me a lot of confidence. I haven’t been at my best the last couple of months. To come here and product what I have the last few days does pick me up for the rest of the season.
‘I missed out on the Champion of Champions last year in the decider against John Higgins (last year’s Championship League Invitational final) – last year was the first one I missed. It hurt seeing it on TV. I am trying to pick my game up to win something and hopefully, it can be this.’
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