Zhou Yuelong beat John Higgins 3-2 in the Group One final at BetVictor Championship League Snooker to become the first player through to March’s big-money Winners’ Group.
Higgins took a 1-0 lead over Zhou in the best-of-five final at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, before the young Chinese talent took the next two frames to move within one of victory. Higgins levelled, but a 131 break in the decider means it will be Zhou who returns for Winners’ Group on March 31.
BetVictor Championship League Snooker is an invitational event which is broadcast on Freesports in the UK, Zhibo.tv in China and on Matchroom.Live, among other international broadcasters.
“It is a nice to start the New Year as the first group winner,” said Zhou, who accumulated prize money of £6,400 during the group. “I played great over the two days. Three years ago I first played the Championship League and I won the first group then too.
“The last frame was perfect. John Higgins is an idol, so I enjoyed playing him. I played him twice today and for me I can learn many things from him.”
Earlier, Higgins had beaten Graeme Dott in his play-off semi-final match, having topped the round-robin group table with five wins. Zhou had defeated Stuart Bingham 3-0 in his play-off semi-final.
Gary Wilson will join Dott, Bingham and Higgins in Group 2 having finished fifth in Group One, where they will be joined by newcomers Kyren Wilson, Scott Donaldson and Matthew Selt on Wednesday. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Michael Holt have been eliminated from the event having finished sixth and seventh respectively in the group.
BetVictor Championship League Snooker sees 25 of the game’s elite players compete for their share of a total prize pot of up to £205,000.
Group Two begins at 12.30pm on Wednesday. Live scoring can be found at www.wst.tv. Group fixtures and results can be found at http://www.championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/
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