HIGGINS CLAIMS FINAL WINNERS’ GROUP BERTH

higginscropGROUP SEVEN
FINAL
Mark Selby 0–3 John Higgins
23-70, 17-77, 46-61 (Higgins 55)

SEMI-FINALS
Stuart Bingham 2-3 Mark Selby
13-71 (Selby 55), 63-25 (Bingham 62), 69-5 (Bingham 54), 0-70 (Selby 96)

John Higgins 3-2 Michael Holt
67-2, 81-5 (Higgins 81), 0-72 (Holt 55), 1-73 (Holt 52), 77-67

John Higgins claimed the last spot in the Championship League Snooker Winners’ Group with a 3-0 Group Seven final win over Mark Selby on Tuesday.

Higgins won the Champion of Champions at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena in November and on his first visit since picked up where he left off, coming through the round robin group stage with four wins before beating Michael Holt 3-2 in the semi final.

Selby had only just scraped into the play-off stage, beating Higgins in his final group match to edge Ricky Walden out of the top four before beating Stuart Bingham 3-2 with a 95 in the deciding frame of their semi-final.

“Beating somebody like Mark in the final is great,” said Higgins. “I am made up to get through and have a chance of doing well in the Winners’ Group.

“I was playing well before the turn of the year but have lost three first rounds since, so to come and win any match gives you a bit of confidence which I can hopefully take on with a few busy months coming up.

“They are all class players in the Winners’ Group but I will go in, give it my all and try and do well.”

Higgins will now join previous group winners David Gilbert, Anthony McGill, Mark Davis, Barry Hawkins, Judd Trump and Ryan Day in the Winners’ Group, where the finalist will receive £10,000 and a guaranteed spot in November’s Champion of Champions.

Championship League Snooker event is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete with all matches broadcast on a host of betting websites.

Each group features seven players with each man playing the other six once in a round-robin basis. Every match is the best of five and the winner gains one point with the loser getting zero.

At the end of the league phase the top four advances to that group’s semi-finals where the two winners meet in the final and the winner advances to the Winners’ Group in March.

The losing finalist, two losing semi-finalists and player finishing fifth move into the next group where they are joined by three new players and the process is repeated.

Winners’ Group commences on Wednesday, March 1 at midday. Live scoring can be found at www.worldsnooker.com. Group fixtures and results can be found here.

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