Stuart Bingham emerged the winner of this season “traditional” CLS Group 4.
Bingham Wins Group Four
Stuart Bingham won Group Four of the 2022 BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational by beating Kyren Wilson 3-2 in the stage final at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Bingham reached the playoffs by beating Scott Donaldson 3-0 in his final game to set up a semi-final showdown with Mark Selby. A fine display from 2015 Crucible king Bingham saw him edge out current World Champion Selby 3-2, with breaks of 137, 51 and 65.
Defending champion Wilson meanwhile had looked imperious all day long and dispatched of Donaldson 3-0 in good time with breaks of 121 and 75 on the way to setting up a final meeting with Bingham.
When it came to the final, Bingham found himself 2-0 up and one away from the Winners’ Group, but Wilson has proven time and time again that he will never give up. The Warrior battled to take the next two with breaks of 71 and 50 to force a decider. The final frame went in Bingham’s favour and he fired in a clearance of 94 to win it and progress.
Bingham, who is set to face Wilson at the Masters next week, said: “I have played pretty solidly since I have been here over the last four days. I am over the moon. It’s a great start to the year. I made a few nice 100s. It was nice to get one over Kyren ahead of next week. He beat me 3-1 in the group stage. I got lucky to beat him in the end. Next week is a different kettle of fish in front of a packed crowd at Alexandra Palace. I felt like my game has been there and not turned up. It’s nice this week to turn up and make a few 100s. Just to hopefully put me in good stead for the rest of the season.”
Xiao Guodong didn’t win a match, finished last of the group but hit the 200th century of his career, a 101 in the third frame of his match against Lu Ning.
Judd Trump was ingloriously relegated having won just two matches.
Mark Selby withdrew from the tournament. He probably wants a bit of rest ahead of the Masters.