Stuart Bingham walked away with his second trophy of the season today after following up his victory in the Pink Ribbon Pro-Am with a 4-3 triumph over Stephen Lee at the first APTC event of the season in China.
In an exciting and what seemed to be high-quality final, Bingham won the last two frames to edge out the defending Grand Finals to wrap up what has been a tremendous twelve months for the Englishman.
In July 2011, Bingham fought back form 8-5 behind to beat Mark Williams in a deciding frame thriller to lift his biggest title to date at the Australian Open in Bendigo.
Afterwards, by his own admission, the 36 year-old endured a difficult campaign that saw him struggle to cope with the expectations surrounding a ranking event winner.
However, Bingham has begun the new season in fine form and with today’s success is already the first man guaranteed to be playing in the lucrative PTC Grand Finals next March.
Bingham enjoyed breaks of 51, 67 and 63 in the final in Zhangjiagang but that was only enough to force the scoreline to 3-3 with current form horse Lee.
In a cagey decider, Bingham then dramatically cleared the final three colours to snatch victory on the black.
Earlier, both Bingham and Lee defeat Michael White and Chen Zhe 4-2 respectively.
It is the perfect preparation for his upcoming defence Down Under next month but before that the calendar’s next stop remains in People’s Republic with the recently upgraded in status Wuxi Classic – now a fully-fledged ranking event.
Much like last season, there’s tournaments almost every week and it could well be a case of he who is the fittest with nine trophies behind decided in the Southern Hemisphere.