Ding Junhui’s thrilling 4-3 victory over Neil Robertson in the final of the Players Tour Championship grand finals in Galway tonight provided a fitting finale to the PTC series.
But for an in-off on 98 playing down for the yellow, Ding would have completed victory with his ninth century of the week.
It was an irony for Robertson that he played his best snooker of the tournament in the only match he lost.
But this proves how well Ding played from 3-0 down to complete his 4-3 victory in one of his best ever performances.
All through the week he appeared to be composed and in full control of his emotions, which is half the battle in top level snooker.
He had one stroke of luck in the sixth frame when he fluked a snooker from out of a snooker on the yellow but he later potted a high pressure brown before prevailing in one visit in the decider.
There was also a question mark over whether he should have used his chalk earlier in this frame to check the black spot, although I’m not sure this had much bearing on the result.
What the final proved yet again is that top level snooker, unfettered by silly gimmicks and when played by the best, is terrific entertainment.
And we are in the entertainment business. That is why I was all for Robertson’s vocal celebration on beating Tom Ford in the semi-finals.
Let’s see some emotion. This stuff matters to the participants. To the rest of us it’s one long rolling show to be enjoyed. Tonight’s final was superb.
Ding will be back in action this week at Crondon Park for the winners’ group of the Championship League.
It has been widely assumed for months that Judd Trump would break Mark Selby’s seasonal centuries record of 55 but Ding could still end the campaign ahead of him.
Trump is on 54 centuries but only 14 of these have been compiled in 2013. Ding is on 46. He has three events left, Trump has two.
All of that will sort itself out. For the moment snooker should toast a special talent.
St. Patrick was said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland but Ding, in the Chinese year of the snake, has proved that it takes the highest quality snooker to stop him winning when he’s playing at his best.