Scotland’s John Higgins and Stephen Maguire defeated China B’s Liang Wenbo and Zhou Yuelong 4-0 to win the Beverly World Cup in Wuxi.
It’s the first time Scotland have won the World Cup since 1996. On that occasion four-time Crucible winner Higgins was part of a three-man team to claim the title alongside Stephen Hendry and Alan McManus. 23 years on and the Wizard of Wishaw has secured a second World Cup victory.
Today’s win sees 44-year-old Higgins and 38-year-old Maguire share the $200,000 top prize and gain revenge for a loss to China B in the 2015 World Cup final. Zhou was part of the victorious team on that occasion alongside Yan Bingtao. This year he will have to settle for a share of the $100,000 runner-up prize along with Liang.
Five-time ranking event winner Maguire got Scotland up and running today by winning a tense opening frame with Zhou on the colours. That was followed up by breaks of 39 and 32 from Higgins to take Scotland 2-0 in front.
A contribution of 45 from Maguire then helped Scotland to claim the doubles and move one from victory. He then closed it out in the following frame by beating Liang and securing the World Cup title.
Higgins said: “One of my proudest moments in snooker was when I partnered Stephen (Hendry) and Alan (McManus) all those years ago to win the World Cup. We came so close four years ago, but this more than makes up for it. A brilliant feeling and a great partner. It is a brilliant moment for both our careers.”
Maguire said: “I’ve never felt nerves like that in any professional match I have played. It is so difficult playing with a partner. You can take it if you miss a ball on your own. It is a weird feeling and it just adds pressure.”