John Higgins captured the 2017 Championship League crown following a commanding 3-0 victory over Ryan Day in the final at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Thursday.
The Scotsman showed signs of his best form with breaks of 84 and 138 on the way to winning the 10th edition of the annual internet-streamed event and claiming the top prize of £10,000, while also ensuring the opportunity to defend his Champion of Champions title in November.
Having entered the fray on Monday before coming out on top in Group Seven to book a place in the Winners’ Group, Higgins finished fourth after the round-robin stage to set up a semi-final clash with the in-form reigning champion Judd Trump.
The four-time World champion made a wonderful total clearance of 120 on the way to taking a 2-0 lead and, despite table-topper Trump replying with 113 to force a decider, he held his nerve with a timely run of 86 to prevail.
He then made a quick start against Day, who had overcome Barry Hawkins in the other semi-final clash, by clearing with 84 to draw first blood, before a magnificent total clearance of 138 doubled his lead.
No second invitation was needed for the 41-year-old, as he controlled the third and final frame to seal his third success in an invitational event this season, having also captured the China Championship and Champion of Champions.
Earlier in the day, Higgins was sat in his chair as Mark Davis recorded his second maximum break in the space of just under two months during their round-robin clash.
The Hastings cueist achieved snooker’s Holy Grail when he compiled the first 147 of his 25-year career against Neil Robertson in the Group Three final in January, and repeated the feat in the Winners’ Group to pocket £1,000, which proved to be a consolation as he narrowly missed out on the Play-Offs.
Championship League Snooker 2017 Results
Thursday March 2
David Gilbert 0-3 John Higgins
Anthony McGill 1-3 Ryan Day
Mark Davis 3-2 John Higgins
Barry Hawkins 2-3 Judd Trump
David Gilbert 2-3 Ryan Day
Anthony McGill 1-3 Judd Trump
Mark Davis 1-3 Ryan Day
Anthony McGill 2-3 John Higgins
David Gilbert 1-3 Barry Hawkins
Judd Trump 2-3 John Higgins
Barry Hawkins 2-3 Ryan Day
John Higgins 3-0 Ryan Day