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Sunday, 30 March 2014

PTC Grand Finals Hawkins Lifts The Title.

Barry Hawkins yesterday lifted the PTC Grand Finals title  & with it a cheque for £100,000 as he brushed aside Gerard Greene 4-0 in a one sided final.

This victory,a second in a ranking final for Hawkins to go with his 2012 Australian Open success,was never really in doubt from the word go, as he surged into an early lead with a fine 117 in the first frame.This was quickly followed with a 75 in the next to make it 2-0 & that became 3-0 with the help of a 50. The end was not long coming in the next as the Kent man sealed the straight forward win.

For Hawkins,who only scrapped in to this event because of the extra place made available by Stuart Binghams  double qualification,this capped a marvelous week where,a 4-3 win over Ryan Day aside,he never looked liked losing a match.This can only fill last years Crucible runner up with confidence as the big one looms on the horizon again

For Greene there will be a little disappointment that he couldn't cap off his run here with the title but what a extraordinary week it was for the man who represents \Northen Ireland.Firstly he fought back from 3-0 down to beat Hamilton 4-3 and followed that up with wins over Mark Allen & Marco Fu to reach his first ranking final.The runners up cheque of £38,000,the biggest pay day of his career,will no doubt help ease the pain.

So a week which featured so many of the games big names ended with two surprise finalist and with the tournaments close proximity to the China Open & indeed the World Championship itself maybe this shouldn't really have shocked us.Earlier in the week I mentioned on Twitter that this tournament seemed to have the feeling of a prep run for the games big stars with them all leaving plenty to work on over the next few weeks leading up to the Crucible. That is a real pity  because this tournament,with its £100,000 top prize deserves more respect than that. Perhaps a juggling of the calendar could help give it that boost. For now though we seem to be in the strange situation where the qualifying events through the year are given more respect from the players,than the finals themselves..

Anyway hats a discussion for the close season.For now onwards we go with the China Open starting tomorrow

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