Shaun Murphy claims Ruhr Open title
Shaun Murphy won the Ruhr Open in Germany, making a maximum 147 break in a 4-0 victory over Robert Milkins in the final.
Murphy made it back-to-back European Tour titles having won last month’s Bulgarian Open and the world number seven has now won four titles in 2014.
The highlight of his emphatic final win over Milkins in Mulheim came in the second frame as he potted 15 reds with blacks and cleared the colour to score the 108th maximum break in snooker history. It was the fourth 147 of Murphy’s career and third of 2014. He becomes the first player to make three maximums in a calendar year, having made one at the Championship League in January and another at the Gdynia Open in February.
Amazingly, Murphy had missed two golden chances of 147s earlier in the day, getting as far as the colours both times but missing the blue in his last 16 match against Joe Swail and the green in his quarter-final against Mark Williams.
Manchester-based 32-year Murphy collected 25,000 Euros for winning the tournament, plus a £1,000 bonus for the maximum.
He also compiled breaks of 66, 62 and 58 in a one-sided final against Gloucester’s Milkins, who had hoped to win a tournament carrying ranking points for the first time in his 19-year career.
Former World Champion Murphy, who goes into next week’s Coral UK Championship in peak form, said: “I had four or five chances at maximums before the final. When I got the chance tonight I was under so much pressure. I potted a very difficult 15th black and finished perfect on the yellow, then I was just concentrating on every ball.
"When I started working with my coach Chris Henry we focussed on making 147s because top players make them all the time but I wasn't doing that. Now the work I've done is coming through.
"I had a few barren years where I started to lose a bit of faith in my game. I was looking for answers elsewhere and I even thought about jacking it in. I'm really pleased that I stuck with it and got through that bad patch, and I'm so happy to have won another trophy.
"We all came here to prepare for the UK Championship and I can't wait to get stuck in next week."
Earlier in the semi-finals, Murphy came from 3-0 down to beat Judd Trump 4-3 while Milkins saw off Stephen Maguire 4-1.
The 2014/15 European Tour series comprises six events across the continent, with the top 24 in the final Order or Merit to go through to the Players Championship next March to battle for the £100,000 jackpot.
The next event is the Lisbon Open in Portugal from December 11 to 14.
Results (last 16 onwards):
Rod Lawler 4-3 Stuart Carrington
Robert Milkins 4-2 Andrew Higginson
Neil Robertson 4-3 Liang Wenbo
Stephen Maguire 4-1 Stuart Bingham
Judd Trump 4-3 Marco Fu
Chris Wakelin 4-2 Fergal O’Brien
Mark Williams 4-3 Mark King
Shaun Murphy 4-3 Joe Swail
Milkins 4-3 Lawler
Maguire 4-2 Robertson
Trump 4-1 Wakelin
Murphy 4-2 Williams
Milkins 4-1 Maguire
Murphy 4-3 Trump
Murphy 4-0 Milkins