Michael Holt beat Dominic Dale 4-2 to claim the tenth Players Tour Championship event of the season and the second of his career.
The Nottingham native played solidly all day and, despite a couple of wobbles late on, had more than enough for his Welsh opponent in the final at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield.
The 33 year-old claimed the final PTC event of 2010 when he defeated John Higgins 4-3 in Prague and repeated the victory over the Scotsman in today’s semi-final.
This time a 4-2 scoreline was enough to send the world champion packing, who actually struggled for most of the day but overcame Neil Robertson and Joe Perry in two consecutive deciders.
Holt was never pushed that far today and followed up a 4-1 triumph over Ben Woollaston with an assured whitewash of countryman Jamie Cope in the last 8.
Cope himself had earlier come from 3-1 behind to shatter the hopes of the final remaining amateur in the tournament – Chris Norbury.
Dale, who like Holt also won a PTC event towards the end of the series last year, enjoyed a trio of close wins over Ricky Walden, Liang Wenbo and Stephen Lee before running out of steam at the last hurdle.
Ireland’s Ken Doherty looked to be heading towards an appearance in the quarter-finals but let a large advantage slip in his decider with Liang that allowed the Chinaman in to clinch the last 16 clash on the black.
It is good to see solid pros like Holt and Dale reach the final of an event like this and is, in many respects, a testament to why they were established in the first place.
In a sport that is often ridiculed for not having enough of them, both cueists are excellent characters that are frequently involved in a lot of interesting battles both on and off the table.
However, the fact they were forced to play what is an official minor ranking event final in front of maybe a dozen people is preposterous.
While there have been many discussions already as to why the World Snooker Academy “venue” must be utilised while it is still under contract, one must feel that a drastic change is required next campaign in order to ensure that anonymous finals like that do not have to take place again.
Nevertheless, a fantastic achievement for Holt and he adds a second professional title to his tally almost exactly one year following his maiden one.