Finals, News

Winner White Wows India

Michael White has won his maiden ranking event title after whitewashing Ricky Walden in the final of the Indian Open in Mumbai.

White beat Williams 4-2 in the last four - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.
White beat Williams 4-2 in the last four – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

The 23 year-old Welshman was in superb form as he seized the opportunity in his first final with breaks of 81, 77, 58 and 85.

International Championship winner Walden was looking for his second trophy of the season but could only muster 27 points as his challenge was thoroughly dismantled by his younger opponent.

The last first-time ranking event victor came three years ago at the 2012 Australian Open when Barry Hawkins joined the elite group.

Ben Woollaston had the opportunity to be the latest at the recent Welsh Open but fell just short at the final hurdle against John Higgins in Cardiff.

It was always a probability that the streak could be broken in India with so many of the bigger names absent, but that should take nothing away from a superb success for White.

The Neath native rose to prominence when he won the European Under-19 Championship in 2007, beating Ireland’s Vincent Muldoon in the final, and has been widely tipped to be a future star since.

Indeed, the player White beat in the semi-final, his idol Mark Williams, has been one of his biggest advocates and the two-time world champion was only too pleased to share in his countryman’s celebrations as he raced into the arena during the presentation for a cheeky selfie photo.

It concludes a wonderful couple of weeks for White after winning his first professional trophy only nine days ago in the single-frame Shoot-Out.

That glory clearly meant a lot to him but his triumph in Asia will undoubtedly prove even greater, especially as it puts him into the reckoning for the world’s top 16 for the cut-off for the World Championship – which would, of course, result in him not having to qualify for the Crucible in April.

Some will perhaps rightly give off about the short format of the Indian Open that saw a ranking event contested very similarly to a Players Championship satellite event.

However, the reality is that it is classified as a ranking event and, as such, the players who entered had to emerge past seven rounds to lift the trophy.

As a result, and regardless¬†of the fact the tournament was lacking several stars, White is deserving of his membership into the ranking event winner’s club.

Indeed, it would be extremely surprising if this proves to be his only one during what will surely be a glittering career.

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