Robert Milkins claims maiden Welsh Open title in biggest career payday
Robert Milkins secured the 2023 Welsh Open title and lucrative BetVictor bonus with a 9-7 victory over Shaun Murphy in the final in Llandudno on Sunday.
Milkins, whose maiden ranking title came at the Gibraltar Open a year ago, doubled his tally in dream fashion by lifting the Ray Reardon Trophy at Venue Cymru.
As well as the £80,000 winner’s cheque, Milkins also scooped the £150,000 BetVictor Series bonus, making it the biggest payday of his 28-year professional career.
The Gloucester cueist found himself 3-1 down early on, but rallied to square up the contest at four apiece at the close of play in the afternoon.
Breaks of 62 and 60 moved him two frames clear for the first time at 7-5, before the pair traded breaks of 64 in the following two frames.
Murphy hit back to produce a sublime break of 114 – the first century of the final – to trail 8-7, but Milkins ensured there was to be no deciding frame drama as he sealed victory with a break of 64.
“I can’t even speak, it’s unreal,” admitted Milkins. “All through the day I was struggling a bit, I had a lot of reasons to struggle. It’s a lot of money to me, that is!
“Gibraltar [Open] was brilliant but beating Shaun in a final is the icing on the cake. You have to play well to beat Shaun.
“I’m feeling on top of the world. Knowing what was on the line, it was really tough.
“I’ve never played for that sort of money before, and with the Welsh Open title combined, it’s too much to take really.”
Milkins had never earned more than £139,000 in prize money in an entire season, and his memorable triumph in Llandudno sees him climb into the world’s top 16.
In addition, the 46-year-old also secures a place in next week’s Players Championship and the Tour Championship next month.
Murphy was bidding for his first ranking title since the Welsh Open in 2020, and admitted: “I made far too many unforced errors. I couldn’t have tried any harder.
“All credit to Rob, he was by far the better player. He fully deserved the victory.”
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