Rory McLeod won his first snooker minor-ranking event title after beating China’s Tian Pengfei 4-2 in the Ruhr Open final in Germany.
The 44-year-old Englishman played great snooker throughout the last day of the event beating Ben Woollaston 4-1 in the last 16 and Mark Davis 4-3 on the decider of the quarter-final to meet Mike Dunn in the semi-final.
An unexpected semi-finals as all four players had never won a ranking event before, McLeod achieved a smooth 4-1 victory over Mike Dunn and Tian Pengfei beat David Gilbert 4-3 after a thriller.
McLeod won the first two frames of the final match with a run of 57 before Tian replied with a 74 of his own to narrow the lead 2-1.
A break of 106 by Tian in the fifth frame put pressure on McLeod but a run of 55 in the sixth frame was good enough to claim the trophy and £18,750 cash prize.
“It feels great, it’s everything that I really wanted,” said McLeod. “In the final I just tried to stick in there, stay positive and not get ahead of myself. I just wanted to enjoy it because this is where I want to be.”
McLeod began 2015/2016 by playing in the Australian Goldfields Open, where he beat Nigel Bond 5–2 before losing 4–5 to Jack Lisowski in the last 64.
He progressed to the last 16 at the next event, the Riga Open, overcoming German amateur Roman Dietzel 4–1, Irishman Fergal O’Brien 4–0 and Hammad Miah 4–2, but lost at this stage 2–4 to eventual finalist Tom Ford.
He reached the last 48 at the Shanghai Masters, losing to Alan McManus, and was eliminated in the first round of the International Championship, 1–6 by Daniel Wells.
More scores from Ruhr Open:
Mark Davis 4-2 Luca Brecel
Rory McLeod 4-1 Ben Woollaston
Mark Williams 4-3 Mark Selby
Mike Dunn 4-1 Andrew Higginson
Tian Pengfei 4-1 Shaun Murphy
Alan McManus 4-0 Dominic Dale
David Gilbert 4-2 Peter Ebdon
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Mark Allen
McLeod 4-3 Davis
Dunn 4-1 Williams
Tian 4-3 McManus
McLeod 4-1 Dunn
Tian 4-3 Gilbert
McLeod 4-2 Tian
Full Scoreboard- World Snooker