STUART BINGHAM earned a place in next season’s Champion of Champions tournament by winning the Championship League at Crondon Park on Thursday night.

Bingham, the world no.8, beat Matt Selt 3-1 in the semi-finals and Mark Davis 3-2 in the final to land the £10,000 first prize.

The Basildon man went into his last group match needing a 3-0 win over Barry Hawkins to reach the semi-finals and duly completed the whitewash. He trailed 2-1 in the final but won the title with breaks of 126 and 79 in the last two frames.

“I’m over the moon,” Bingham said. “It’s a great field of players here and a long tournament if you stay in a few groups. It isn’t just about winning this; it is getting the Champion of Champions spot too.

“I lost a couple of matches at the start of the group and ended up having to beat Barry Hawkins 3-0 to get into the play-offs, I managed that and so maybe the writing was on the wall.

“It can be an endurance test and in the end there wasn’t much to separate myself and Mark but it’s a great one to win.”

Bingham was runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the inaugural Champion of Champions event in 2013 and lost again to O’Sullivan in the first round this year.

Xiao Guodong had won group seven on Tuesday. Dave Gilbert made a 147 break, the second in this year’s Championship League following Hawkins’s maximum in group one.


Photograph by Matchroom Sport.