Shaun Murphy won a third ranking title within the past five months by beating Mark Williams 3-0 in the final of the BetVictor Championship League in Leicester.
It’s the perfect start to the season for 40-year-old Murphy as he captured the first ranking title of the campaign, banking the top prize of £33,000. Having enjoyed a golden spell earlier in 2023 when he won the Players Championship and Tour Championship, Murphy has now taken his career tally of ranking titles to 12.
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The day started with the group phase and Murphy opened with a 2-2 draw against Xiao Guodong before beating Chris Wakelin 3-1. His third match against Robert Milkins ended 2-2 and that was enough for the 2005 World Champion to top the group and proceed to the final.
In the other group, Welshman Williams drew 2-2 with Sam Craigie then beat Cao Yupeng 3-1. The 48-year-old needed to beat Noppon Saengkham in his last group match to finish on top, and he scored a 3-1 success.
The final was a one-sided affair as Murphy cleared from the last red to snatch the opening frame, then made breaks of 73 and 69 to run out a comfortable 3-0 winner. Williams missed out on a 25th ranking title and first since the 2021 British Open.
Murphy said: “I’m delighted. My team and I have been working really hard and we knew it was coming. I think that’s three of the last four events, I’ve been to the final and won. I am not sure what the secret is but I am doing something right. I’m very keen on making goals and setting targets. Achieving number one on the world rankings is something I’ve never achieved, but it is on the list of goals I would like to hit this season and this has been the best possible start.”
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