Shaun Murphy won the inaugural Players Tour Championship title tonight when he whitewashed surprise finalist Martin Gould in Dublin.
The all-English final went the way of the 2005 world champion as he beat Gould 4-0 to cap his superb season on the PTC.
Murphy headed the order of merit after playing in all 12 small-scale tournaments, and by capping his campaign with success at the Grand Finals he has shown the merit of buying into World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn’s vision for the new competition.
Others, notably Ronnie O’Sullivan, missed large chunks of the campaign so were ineligible for this week’s finale.
Murphy carried off a cheque for £60,000, with runner-up Gould taking home £25,000 after winning through to his first major title match.
Gould had beaten Jamie Jones, Judd Trump, Michael Holt and, most notably, Mark Selby to set up the clash with Murphy, but he could not raise his performance an extra notch when it mattered.
The scoreline nevertheless masks the fact that aside from the opening frame, all were close, however Murphy’s class and experience of such occasions helped him over the line.
The 28-year-old has explained this week how he has Irish relatives, and the Dublin crowds have taken to him.
“To win any tournament is fantastic and I’m privileged to win the first PTC Grand Finals,” Murphy said.
“I’ve just enjoyed playing as much snooker as we have this season. I said at the start of the PTC series that I thought the standard was going to go through the roof.
“I had a bit of luck along the way this week but with Irish genes I need a little bit of luck.
“I took a car the other day and went to sit in a bar my grandad and great-grandad would have been in, and went to see where they lived. It was nice to go and see and I’ve got some great memories.”
Gould, similarly, can look back on a positive week, although after knocking out Selby 4-3 this afternoon he had little left in reserve for the evening’s final.
Murphy had extra time to recover from his lunchtime semi-final success against Matthew Stevens – another 4-0 win.
Gould had chances in each frame but failed to make them count.
The 29-year-old Londoner said: “I missed a couple of silly balls, and when you’re playing someone the calibre of Shaun he’s going to punish you every time.
“But it’s a good learning experience for me. So I take that on the chin and look forward to the next tournament.
“I’m very happy with the form. It’s been a fantastic week.”