Mark Williams captured the 2023 British Open title with a 10-7 triumph over Mark Selby in Cheltenham on Sunday.
The Welshman prevailed from a mostly tight affair at The Centaur to collect the £100,000 top prize.
Success for Williams takes his total tally of ranking events to 25 – fifth on the all-time list.
His first on the World Snooker Tour was 27 years ago when he claimed home glory in the 1996 Welsh Open.
A year later, Williams emerged with his maiden British Open title, and he now has three in his collection having also won the tournament in 2021.
At 48, the world number ten is the second-oldest ranking event champion after countryman Ray Reardon.
Williams ultimately never relinquished his lead in the British Open final after establishing a 3-0 cushion early on.
A showdown between two of the sport’s all-time greats – who boast seven world titles between them – had been billed as a potential classic.
But when an out-of-sorts Selby fell 5-1 down, a runaway scoreline briefly appeared to be on the cards.
By that point, the Leicester man had mostly sat in his chair as his opponent reeled off breaks of 133, 110, 74, and 55.
Contributions of 98 and 73 for Selby, however, provided him with a degree of hope at just two frames down heading into the evening session.
An excellent 112 then reduced the gap to only one, but Williams was always able to keep his nose in front.
A scrappy exchange of frames ensued, but the key moment of the contest materialised in the 16th frame.
With Selby 56 points in front and poised to make it 8-8, Williams produced a trademark clearance of 69 to move to within the brink.
He then gained the snooker he needed in the next frame to create the opportunity for a match-clinching clearance.
“Unbelievable. I don’t think many people really gave me much chance beating him over two sessions” Mark Williams told the World Snooker Tour.
“I think all day I competed with him and probably outplayed him in the safety department, which is really good for me.”
“He’s the best in the world at it, and if I didn’t outplay him in the safety, I definitely competed with him.
“I potted some really good long pots and had a really good clearance to go 9-7. It was looking like 8-8 and he was the stronger person.
“I was flagging a bit, but just to compete with him over two sessions in a big tournament is unbelievable for me, at 48.
“It’s got to be up there with one of my best wins ever.”
Not only is Mark Williams back in the winners’ enclosure after a two-year absence, but this victory will also bring with it many additional rewards.
A place in the upcoming Champion of Champions is guaranteed, and the former world number one is also in a strong place to qualify for the prestigious Tour Championship later this term.
Selby missed out on what would have been a 23rd career ranking title, but he has generally been one of the most consistent performers across the last six or so months.
There is not much rest for either competitor, with the English Open due to begin on Monday in Brentwood.
British Open draw
(held over fixtures)
Robert Milkins 4-2 Jiang Jun
Judd Trump 4-2 Anton Kazakov
Ali Carter 4-3 Allan Taylor
Luca Brecel 3-4 Ding Junhui
Gary Wilson 4-1 Ahmed Aly Elsayed
Neil Robertson 4-1 Jamie Clarke
Mark Allen 4-1 Anthony McGill
Mark Williams 4-1 Peng Yisong
Mark Selby 4-2 Ben Woollaston
Ryan Day 4-0 Sean O’Sullivan
Kyren Wilson 4-1 Martin O’Donnell
Steven Hallworth 0-4 Jimmy Robertson
Shaun Murphy 4-1 Rebecca Kenna
Jack Lisowski 4-3 Joe O’Connor
John Higgins 4-1 Long Zehuang
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Stan Moody
Xu Si 4-0 Ali Carter
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 1-4 Oliver Lines
Ma Hailong 4-0 Mohamed Ibrahim
Yuan Sijun 4-0 Ben Mertens
Judd Trump 3-4 Hammad Miah
Oliver Brown 2-4 Hossein Vafaei
Lyu Haotian 3-4 David Gilbert
Noppon Saengkham 2-4 Fergal O’Brien
Si Jiahui 4-1 Neil Robertson
Stephen Maguire 2-4 Mark Williams
Scott Donaldson 4-0 Liam Graham
Jamie Jones 0-4 Julien Leclercq
Robert Milkins 1-4 Barry Hawkins
Ken Doherty 3-4 Matthew Stevens
Jimmy Robertson 4-3 Wu Yize
Andy Hicks 2-4 Graeme Dott
Jack Lisowski 4-3 Shaun Murphy
Gary Wilson 4-3 Chris Wakelin
Anthony Hamilton 0-4 Xiao Guodong
Rod Lawler 4-1 Dominic Dale
Ryan Day 4-1 Thor Chuan Leong
Ding Junhui 4-3 Liu Hongyu
Fan Zhengyi 4-1 Ross Muir
He Guoqiang 4-1 Muhammad Asif
John Higgins 1-4 Robbie Williams
Mark Selby 4-2 Tian Pengfei
Daniel Wells 2-4 Ashley Carty
Matthew Selt 4-1 Zak Surety
Mark Allen 0-4 Kyren Wilson
Stuart Bingham 2-4 Ishpreet Singh
Tom Ford 4-3 Ashley Hugill
David Grace 3-4 Sanderson Lam
Matthew Stevens 3-4 Fergal O’Brien
Yuan Sijun 2-4 Hossein Vafaei
Mark Williams 4-2 Gary Wilson
Hammad Miah 3-4 Ma Hailong
Graeme Dott 4-0 Ashley Carty
Ali Carter 4-2 Ryan Day
Julien Leclercq 0-4 Ding Junhui
Oliver Lines 1-4 He Guoqiang
Scott Donaldson 4-1 Robbie Williams
David Gilbert 4-1 Ishpreet Singh
Xiao Guodong 4-1 Sanderson Lam
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Kyren Wilson
Si Jiahui 1-4 Mark Selby
Jimmy Robertson 0-4 Tom Ford
Rod Lawler 2-4 Fan Zhengyi
Jack Lisowski 4-2 Matthew Selt
Ding Junhui 2-4 Mark Williams
Graeme Dott 2-4 Hossein Vafaei
Ali Carter 2-4 Xiao Guodong
Tom Ford 4-1 Scott Donaldson
Barry Hawkins 3-4 He Guoqiang
Fan Zhengyi 4-1 Ma Hailong
David Gilbert 3-4 Mark Selby
Jack Lisowski 4-2 Fergal O’Brien
Mark Williams 5-1 Fan Zhengyi
Hossein Vafaei 5-2 He Guoqiang
Tom Ford 3-5 Xiao Guodong
Mark Selby 5-4 Jack Lisowski
Mark Williams 6-3 Hossein Vafaei
Xiao Guodong 0-6 Mark Selby
Mark Williams 10-7 Mark Selby
Featured photo credit: WST