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Higgins makes history with fifth Welsh Open win

By Michael Smyth

John Higgins landed a record fifth Welsh Open title with a 9-7 win over Barry Hawkins in Cardiff.

Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan had been level on four Welsh titles each but the Scot is now out on his own, having defeated O'Sullivan 5-1 in this year's quarter-finals.

In a high-quality finallast night, Higgins rattled in breaks of 141 and 138, while Hawkins responded with a 130, as the afternoon session ended with the score tied at 4-4.

When play resumed Higgins took the first two frames but back-to-back tons from Hawkins, 103 and 138, levelled matters again.

A misjudged plant from Hawkins and a 68 from Higgins took frame 13 and the four-time world champion promptly took an 8-6 lead before Hawkins pulled one back.

But 42-year-old Higgins used all his experience to get over the line.

The Scot said: "It feels great. It was one of the most enjoyable finals I've ever played in, a great standard.

"At 6-6 I was 50 behind and managed to take it so that was a big frame. If Barry had won I'd have had no complaints."

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