BARRY Hawkins admitted the snooker gods must have been on his side as he beat Gerard Greene to win the Wyldecrest Parks PTC Finals and claim a second ranking title.
The 34-year-old surged into an early lead in Saturday night’s final at Preston’s Guild Hall with breaks of 117 and 75, and went on to close out the final 4-0.
New world No4 Hawkins only scraped in to the final stages, having finished 25th on the European Order of Merit, because Stuart Bingham had double qualified via the Asian Tour route.
And last year’s world finalist took full advantage, beating Stephen Maguire, Ryan Day, Yu Delu, Judd Trump and surprise finalist Greene to lift the trophy and pocket the £100,000 winner’s cheque.
Kent’s Hawkins’ only previous success was at the Australian Open in 2012, so this was a first triumph on home soil.
And it came against a player who practises in the same club, with Greene taking consolation from a biggest ever payday in a 21-year career of £38,000.
Hawkins even had the cheek to ask Greene, having deprived him of £62,000, for a lift home afterwards back to Kent – a request that earned an unprintable response.
Hawkins said: “It has been a great week, and I can hardly believe it to win another title. I got in through the back door as a lucky loser having finished 25th in the European Order of Merit.
“But with Stuart Bingham double qualifying on the Asian Tour that let me in, and now I have won it. I am sure the missus has spent the money already.
“He did me a £100,000 favour there, perhaps it was destiny, but I am sure he won’t let me forget it. He will be holding his hand out every time I see him. I might buy him a meal.
“I have won matches against very good players, and am very pleased. Wins breed confidence even best of seven frame matches, when there is big money involved there is pressure.
“I had some luck against Ryan Day to even make it into the quarter-finals, so things have also gone my way.
“But I have been putting myself in the latter stages hoping the door would open again, and this week it has. Now I have to fly straight to Beijing tomorrow, and play there Tuesday.”
Greene said: “It has been a very good week, it was just a bit disappointing how the final went. I missed a black in the third frame when I could have nicked it to make it 2-1.
“A cheque for £38,000 is great, even if £100,000 would have been nicer. But there have been some tough times in the past two or three years financially.
“You don’t always earn a lot down the rankings, and there have been plenty of times I have been worried about paying the mortgage. At least that is okay for a while.
“I always thought I was good enough to do well throughout my career, but the losses mount up and people play well against you. Now I can really look forward to the World Championships qualifiers.”
Photographs by Monique Limbos