Hossein Vafaei secured his first ranking title at the 2022 Snooker Shoot Out with victory over Mark Williams in the final in Leicester.
Vafaei created a slice of snooker history as he became the first Iranian player to win a ranking tournament, scooping the £50,000 top prize at the Morningside Arena.
An emotional triumph for the 27-year-old saw him lift the trophy just days after the death of his Grandmother – to whom he dedicated the victory.
“That is for you Grandma,” Vafaei told Eurosport. “It’s Mother’s Day in Iran and I am very proud I did that. I could not be more happy.
“It’s a big achievement for a country like Iran. Nobody knew about snooker before, now they know.
“I’ve been working hard and thank God that finally I win a tournament and make my people proud.”
Vafaei had made the highest break of the tournament (123) during his First Round win over Peter Devlin, and went on to defeat Barry Pinches, Allan Taylor, Michael Georgiou, Daniel Womersley and Liang Wenbo on his way to the final.
The 2019 Welsh Open semi-finalist knocked in a sensational long red and went on to make a decisive 71 break to deny Williams a first Shoot Out success.
The victory also secures Vafaei a place in November’s Champion of Champions, as well as next month’s Players Championship.
Williams, whose run to the final saw him overtake Michael Holt as the winner of the most Shoot Out matches since 2011, admitted: “I thought I’d played a pretty good break-off shot there and what a fantastic red that was.
“To make that break under pressure to win your first tournament, hats off to him.”
Snooker Shoot-Out 2022 Day Four Results
Sunday January 23
Jak Jones 22-63 Mark Allen
Ian Burns 17-36 Mitchell Mann
Simon Blackwell 23-29 Andrew Higginson
Aaron Hill 4-89 Mark Williams
Allan Taylor 1-63 Hossein Vafaei
Dean Young 92-1 Michael Holt
Liam Highfield 27-48 Daniel Womersley
Matthew Selt 46-3 Ali Carter
Oliver Lines 63-47 Stuart Bingham
Duane Jones 22-54 Steven Hallworth
Lukas Kleckers 20-26 Billy Joe Castle
Michael Georgiou 70-15 Kuldesh Johal
Ken Doherty 50-52 Chris Wakelin
Nigel Bond 7-32 Jamie Clarke
Liang Wenbo 37-35 Sanderson Lam
Robbie Williams 57-1 Mark Selby
Mark Williams 57-1 Matthew Selt
Oliver Lines 28-56 Liang Wenbo
Jamie Clarke 44-36 Mitchell Mann
Hossein Vafaei 50-17 Michael Georgiou
Steven Hallworth 21-46 Daniel Womersley
Robbie Williams 39-14 Andrew Higginson
Billy Castle 42-16 Dean Young
Chris Wakelin 6-79 Mark Allen
Jamie Clarke 0-97 Mark Williams
Mark Allen 21-49 Liang Wenbo
Hossein Vafaei 71-3 Daniel Womersley
Robbie Williams 69-0 Billy Castle
Mark Williams 124-1 Robbie Williams
Hossein Vafaei 92-48 Liang Wenbo
Hossein Vafaei 71-0 Mark Williams