Higginson Wins PTC 5

Andrew Higginson claimed the first title of his professional career with an excellent 4-1 triumph over world champion John Higgins in the final of the fifth Players Tour Championship event of the season in Sheffield.

The Englishman was the clear underdog before the encounter but controlled proceedings with a confident approach, holding his nerve towards the end.

Earlier in the day, Higginson whitewashed Ian McCulloch 4-0 before coming from two frames behind to oust veteran Dave Harold in the quarter-final.

A comprehensive 4-1 victory over hot young prospect Jack Lisowski offered him only the second final of his career following his run to the last two at the Welsh Open in 2007.

Higgins himself had defeated Ryan Day, Neil Robertson and Barry Hawkins to reach the final.

In the clash with Scotsman Higgins, Higginson clinched the opening frame on the pink following an unexpected missed blue from his opponent and looked certain to double his advantage after a 63 in the subsequent frame.

However, former world number one Higgins replied with a tidy 78 clearance to square the match up and sent a message to Higginson that he would have to take his chances to seal the win.

The 33 year-old obviously took heed of the situation and knocked in a 78 of his own to retake the lead before a scrappy fourth brought him to within a single frame of glory.

Higgins appeared set to reduce the arrears with a 55 in the next but missed a difficult red to the middle and Higginson duly responded with two scoring visits to lift the trophy.

Higginson has been a player on the fringes of success for a few years now and has repeatedly performed well in the qualifying stages of ranking events.

Yet, he has struggled to find the consistency required to break into the elite Top 16 and perhaps this will give him the confidence to do so in the future.

The victory propels him into the provisional top 20 and guarantees his place at the PTC Grand Finals next March.

Once again, the series has offered players further down the rankings an opportunity for success.

Unheralded Ben Woollaston is already on the winning rostrum in this campaign following a flurry of first-time champions last year in the dozen events.

While many have failed to build on that success on a more mainstream capacity, Higginson does have the ability to go further in the sport given the correct mentality.

Nevertheless, the Cheshire cueist will simply be delighted with the moment in question and defeating the great John Higgins in a minor ranking event final is something to be proud of.

The draw can be viewed by clicking here.

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