Barry Hawkins secured his second ranking title on Saturday evening with a 4-0 victory over friend and practice partner Gerard Greene at the Wyldecrest Parks Players’ Championship Grand Final at Preston’s Guild Hall.
The Kent-based pair had earlier advanced to the final with afternoon triumphs over Judd Trump and Marco Fu, respectively. A 117 break gave Hawkins the ideal start in front of a packed crowd at the Guild Hall, and world number 66 Greene did not get a look-in in frame two either as a 75 knock put the Englishman 2-0 up.
A 50 clearance, after Rainham-based Greene had missed a tough black, swiftly extended Ditton-based Hawkins’ advantage and his dominance continued en route to a 4-0 rout and a £100,000 jackpot.
Greene earlier defeated Hong Kong’s Fu 4-2 to reach his first ranking final – 21 years after turning professional –moving him up to 42nd on the money list and guaranteeing his biggest ever pay-day in the form of a £38,000 prize.
Having seen Greene surge into a 3-1 lead, a break of 121 got Fu back into contention, but the 40-year-old Northern Irishman kept his nerve and got over the line with a long double on the last red to a baulk corner in frame six.
Hawkins advanced to the final with an impressive 4-1 triumph over Trump in the second semi-final.
The 2013 world championship runner- up, who ended the challenge of Ronnie O’Sullivan’s conqueror Yu Delu on Friday, lost the first frame but coolly clinched the next four with breaks of 50, 75, 131 and 61 to stun the 24-year-old Bristolian.
“I have played well against some very good players and come through a strong field,” said Hawkins, who flew to Beijing yesterday as he plays his first match in the China Open tomorrow.
“I rode my luck during the week because I could have lost to Ryan Day, he missed the brown in the last frame. But overall I think I deserved to win.
“It was a big occasion with big money so I’m delighted to win. I’m getting to the later stages of tournaments more often now and when you do that, eventually the door will open for you.”
Having slipped down the rankings in recent years, Greene feared for his Tour place at the start of the current season.
A run to the final of the Paul Hunter Classic European Tour event last August allayed that fear and booked him a place in Preston, and his run this week is a huge boost to his confidence and bank balance.
“There have been some tough times over the last few years,” said the 40-year-old Rainham-based cueman.
“I always felt I was good enough to do well but I seem to bring the best out of other players.
“Consistency and confidence have been lacking. This has been a great week and I’m looking forward to the World Championship qualifiers now.
“I’m just disappointed with how I played in the final. I didn’t get a shot for the first two frames and then I missed the black in the third when I could have got back to 2-1.”