Michael Holt won his second UK/Europe Q Tour event title of the season and climbed to the top of the overall rankings after he defeated Daniel Womersley 5-1 in the Event Five final at the Castle Snooker Club in Brighton.
With just two events remaining in the series, Holt – who triumphed at Event Two in Stockholm in September – is in pole position to win the rankings race and earn promotion back to the professional circuit.
Former Shoot Out winner Holt began his challenge on the south coast of England with 3-1 victories against Patrick Whelan and Joshua Cooper; recovering from the loss of the opening frame in both matches. In the last 16, Holt hit a break of 140 in the first frame of a 3-1 win over Neal Jones.
Returning for the eight-player finals day, the 45-year-old registered a trio of half-centuries as he saw off former European under-21 finalist Hayden Staniland 4-1.
In the last four, Holt ousted fellow ex-professional Barry Pinches 4-3. Holt led three times earlier in the match but was pegged back by Pinches on each occasion, although the Nottingham cueist secured the frame which mattered the most.
Womersley made his way through the other side of the draw to reach his maiden Q Tour event final.
A winner on the English Amateur Snooker Tour, the 31-year-old defeated Matthew Day and Aaron Busuttil in the last 64 and 32, respectively, before crafting a break of 121 in the deciding frame of a 3-2 win against Sydney Wilson in the last 16. Womersley then pipped Luke Pinches 4-3 in the last eight and denied Chris Totten 4-0 in the semi-finals.
In what would be a superb performance in the final, Holt enjoyed an ideal start to the title match as he constructed breaks of 54 and 118 in building a 2-0 lead.
A response came from Womersley in frame three with an effort of 89 to get off the mark but Holt hit a 75 as he re-established a two-frame cushion heading into the mid-session interval.
On resumption, Holt continued his assault on the title, and with runs of 73 and 115 he capped off an impressive display and doubled his trophy count on this season’s Tour.
Holt’s latest success sees him overtake Liam Davies at the summit of the standings with a 1,900-point advantage. The final two regular events of the UK/Europe Q Tour season are set to take place in January (Sofia, Bulgaria) and February (Leeds, England).
In total, 17 players made century breaks across the three days in Brighton. The highest was a 143 compiled by Whelan.