Ryan Day secured “the biggest win of my life” after capturing the British Open crown with a 10-7 victory over Mark Allen on Sunday.
The Welshman claimed the top prize of £100,000 at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes – the biggest pay cheque of his career – while also securing his return to the top 16 and sealing his place in the Champion of Champions later this month.
World number 27 Day, who hit 10 breaks over 50, reeled off the last four frames from 7-6 down to win his fourth ranking title, having already prevailed at the 2017 Riga Masters, 2018 Gibraltar Open and 2021 Shoot Out.
It was also a first triumph on UK soil in front of a crowd for the 42-year-old, whose Shoot Out success at this venue 20 months ago came behind closed doors.
“I knew I had to really be on top of my game,” he told ITV4. “I’m just delighted at the way I finished the match off.
“The three events that I’ve won are not the biggest events, but this – back on UK soil with my family in front of me – is the biggest win of my life.
“There’s been really bad days – they come more often than they used to – but you’ve just got to keep on plugging away and practise.
“I played some good matches, and I played some pretty poor ones. But at the end of the week, I’m going to be lifting the cup.”
The form player of the week, Allen had overcome the likes of Gary Wilson, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Noppon Saengkham to reach his 14th ranking final.
Seeking a seventh title – which would have made him the most decorated Irish player in history outright – the Pistol made a flying start to a high-quality opening session, drawing first blood with a stunning 126 total clearance.
Although he looked nervy during his semi-final victory over Robbie Williams, Day looked to have regained his scoring boots when he needed to most.
Indeed, he replied with runs of 58, 77, 73, 58 and 54, which sandwiched contributions of 75 and 105 from his opponent as the players headed into the evening locked at 4-4.
The first four frames of the second session were shared before Day squandered a golden opportunity to move 7-6 in front; Allen subsequently clearing to the pink after Dynamite missed the final red.
But the Bridgend cueist dusted himself down and embarked on a timely surge towards the finishing line. Only a single frame had separated the players throughout the final, but breaks of 74, 70 and 84 moved Day to the brink of victory, which he secured with a run of 47 along the way.
“I wouldn’t even say it was nerves; I just completely lost my action and lost faith in the table if I’m honest,” Allen said. “But Ryan adapted so much better than I did.
“I was just trying to hang on and scrap it out, but Ryan fully deserved the win. He looked super aggressive at the end; you have to go and win these tournaments, and I just didn’t do that today.”