Shaun Murphy has emerged victorious in the Gibraltar Open to collect his seventh ranking event trophy on Sunday.
The Englishman beat Judd Trump 4-2 in a high-scoring final to claim his first title in a year.
Murphy had been the only invitee to the upcoming Players Championship who had not yet embarked on a run to a final of an event during this campaign.
However, after dispatching of Barry Hawkins and Mark Williams early on the final day, Murphy found his scoring boots with runs of 140 and 137 in ousting Nigel Bond in the semi-final.
The 2005 world champion continued that form into the showdown with Trump, twice coming from behind to see off the European Masters champion with breaks of 96, 60, and 56.
Murphy had been experiencing an average season up until this point but this triumph, along with the €25,000 winner’s cheque, will surely give the 34 year-old plenty of confidence ahead of the remaining three tournaments this term – including, of course, the World Championship next month in Sheffield.
For Trump, it marked as further disappointment after defeats in the finals of both the English and Welsh Opens in recent months.
The 27 year-old, like his opponent in the final, was also seeking a seventh ranking title but has now lost in more than half of the finals he has competed in.
Trump is clearly playing well to be creating these opportunities for glory but it will be somewhat of a concern that he has been unable to add more silverware to his cabinet.
The Gibraltar Open saw the last of the best of seven tournaments for this season but drew poor attendances for a second successive edition.
A new system for polishing balls was trialled with a vastly mixed response from the players, so it will be interesting to see whether that will be implemented permanently in the coming months.
Next up is the Players Championship, which starts on Monday in Llandudno.