Walden wins Wuxi Classic
Ricky Walden claimed his second ranking event victory with a 10-4 Wuxi Classic final win over fellow Englishman Stuart Bingham, who had the consolation of compiling a flawless 147 break in defeat.
Resuming 7-1 ahead from an afternoon session in China that saw Bingham compile his third maximum in tournament play, Walden quickly left himself on the cusp of the trophy and £75,000 first prize with breaks of 43 and 73.
Faced with losing the final 10-1 at the Wuxi City Sports Park Stadium, Bingham suddenly steeled himself as runs of 103, 100, 46 and 42 enabled him to bring an air of respectability to matters in trailing 9-4.
He was first at the table in the 14th frame only to miss a red from mid-range with a rest. Walden had stumbled on 20 in the 13th frame, but produced a fine opening pot on a red along the top cushion before proceeding to compile a frame and match-winning knock of 74.
Bingham played on for snookers, but Walden - winner of the 2008 Shanghai Masters - steered himself out of trouble to ensure his opponent would not be involved in a final frame decider for a fifth time in five matches.
World number 18 Walden had accounted for Zhu Yinghui, Joe Perry, Robert Milkins and Marcus Campbell on his way to the final of the season's first ranking tournament.
Bingham collected £30,000 for finishing runner-up plus another £2,000 for his highest televised break of 147 in the sixth frame having made 143, the second highest break earlier in the week. The Essex player is due to defend his Australian Open title in Bendigo later this month.
First session report
Stuart Bingham trails Ricky Walden 7-1 in the Wuxi Classic final in China despite making an imperious 147 maximum break.
Bingham made his maximum with a flawless run in the sixth frame after Walden had gone 5-0 clear. It made little difference to the pattern of the match as Walden won the seventh frame with a 56 before getting the better of a scrappy eighth frame to open up a six-frame advantage.
For the record, Bingham - who will defend his Australian Open title later this month - has now made three 147s with the first coming in 1999 and the second six years later.
Chester potter Walden played well within himself to move five frames ahead, his highest run being a 69 in the third frame. Bingham lost the first two frames on the final black, and that seemed to disrupt his rhythm for the rest of the opening session.
Bingham has won all his matches in the final frame against Peter Ebdon, Ken Doherty, Mark Selby and Mark Davis in reaching the final, but has strangely struggled for consistency against Walden's free-flowing style.
Walden requires three more frames when they resume at 12.30pm BST to collect his second ranking title and a £75,000 winner's cheque after winning the Shanghai Masters in 2008.