Judd Trump became the fourth player through to the Winners’ Group of the Championship League after emerging from Group 4 on Friday.
Trump produced a scintillating display of power scoring in the final to beat fellow three-time champion John Higgins 3-1 at the Morningside Arena.
The pair had earlier topped the round-robin stage, with Higgins winning five matches out of six to finish first and Trump winning four to place just behind the Scot in the league table.
In the semi-finals, Higgins compiled breaks of 141, 121, and 99 to see off the challenge of Robert Milkins, who had just squeezed into the knockout phase on frame-difference ahead of Matthew Selt.
But after Trump came through a tight deciding-frame contest with Mark Selby, it was the Englishman who was inflicting the heavy blows in the final.
Breaks of 108 and 129 helped the world number four into a 2-0 lead, and it looked set to be a whitewash until he broke down on 53 in the third.
Higgins responded with a run of 77, but last year’s Turkish Masters champion was back in among the balls in the fourth frame and duly sealed the victory in style with a contribution of 102.
Trump joins countrymen Jack Lisowski, Stuart Bingham, and Kyren Wilson in March’s Championship League Winners’ Group.
Higgins, Selby, Milkins, and Selt will all get another crack at qualifying from Group 5 in February, with Neil Robertson, Mark Williams, and David Gilbert expected to enter the fray.
Ricky Walden and Gary Wilson have both exited the competition after finishing bottom of Group 4 in Leicester.
- CLICK HERE: Kyren Wilson wins Championship League Group 3
There are two different versions of the Championship League currently on the snooker calendar.
The ranking event edition was staged back in the summer, with Luca Brecel triumphing on that occasion.
This ongoing Championship League, which is open only to invited players, is the original having first taken place 15 years ago.
In addition to prize money on offer for advancing in the respective groups, other cash bonuses are available for frames won and by compiling the highest break.
Featured photo credit: WST