Stuart Bingham opened with a 139 break as he went into the interval level at 4-4 with Mark Williams in the final of the Australian Goldfields Open.
The 35-year-old, playing in the first ranking tournament final of his career, got off to the best possible start in the first-to-nine match at the Bendigo Stadium in Victoria, taking advantage of a missed red by Williams to make a century.
Bingham moved into a 3-1 lead, but Williams took the next three frames before his opponent levelled the match by taking the eighth.
The century was Bingham’s fifth of the tournament, the same number as Williams, who leads the highest-break competition with 142.
The Welshman responded with to going 1-0 down with a break of 89, but Bingham won a scrappy next two, in which the highest break was 33 from Williams.
Williams, the two-time world champion, fought back with breaks of 85, 57 and 84 to move into a narrow lead.
But Bingham ensured she went into the interval level by edging the eighth frame 64-52, despite a 52 from Williams.