John Higgins cruised to a 3-0 win over Kyren Wilson in the final of Championship League Group 3 in Milton Keynes on Saturday night.
The four-times world champion finished with a break of 73 to defeat Wilson after recovering from 2-0 behind to edge out Tom Ford 3-2 in the semi-finals.
2020 world finalist Wilson hit breaks of 79 and 82 in a 3-1 semi-final win over Zhao Xintong, who opened with a classy run of 104.
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“I’m really happy to get through,” said Higgins, who faces Mark Allen in his Masters opener at the same venue on Wednesday evening.
“I have managed to get through Group 1 and Group 2, but I was lucky because Tom was one ball away from knocking me out at the semi-final. I got a chance to live another day and played pretty well in the final.
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I’m happy to win and I showed a bit of bottle to clear up and win the group. I felt really good all week, I have been hitting the ball really well so onwards and upwards.
Earlier in the day, Matthew Selt kicked off Saturday’s action with emphatic victories over Mark Selby and Ford, while Wilson edged past Scott Donaldson.
Selt bounced back from a disappointing Friday, where he lost all three group games, with six unanswered frames, registering 3-0 victories over Selby and Ford with five half centuries and conceded just 14 points in total.
Wilson produced three superb centuries on his way to defeating Donaldson 3-2 with breaks of 113, 130 and 123.
Higgins then ended Wilson's momentum with a 3-1 victory while Ford recorded a victory by the same margin over Donaldson.
In one of the evening's later games, Selby recovered from his earlier disappointment to defeat Higgins 3-2 with his tip coming off his cue as he was forced to declare on 108 in the final frame with 35 remaining.
Donaldson was able to squeeze through 3-2 against Selby, who finished fifth in the group to ensure he was not eliminated.
Higgins joins fellow Scot Graeme Dott and Zhou Yeulong in the tournament's winners' group on March 31-1 April.
Selby, Zhou, Ford and Wilson join Judd Trump, Yan Bingtao and Jack Lisowski in Group 4 next month. Scott Donaldson and Matthew Selt are out after occupying the bottom two places in Group 3.
- Kyren Wilson 3-2 Scott Donaldson
- Mark Selby 0-3 Matthew Selt
- Matthew Selt 3-0 Tom Ford
- Kyren Wilson 1-3 John Higgins
- Mark Selby 3-2 John Higgins
- Scott Donaldson 1-3 Tom Ford
- Matthew Selt 2-3 Zhao Xintong
- Scott Donaldson 3-2 Mark Selby
- Kyren Wilson 3-1 Zhao Xintong
- John Higgins 3-2 Tom Ford
- John Higgins 3-2 Kyren Wilson
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