Robert Milkins

Robert Milkins, 2023 Betvictor Welsh Open - Day 7. Pic: Getty Images.

Welsh Open Title Gives Robert Milkins “Unreal” Pay Day

By Gareth James

Robert Milkins clinched his second career ranking title in a dramatic Welsh Open final, beating Shaun Murphy 9-7.

Milkins’ previous ranking title win was at the Gibraltar Open the previous year.

“Gibraltar was brilliant but beating Shaun in a final is the icing on the cake. You have to play well to beat Shaun,” said Milkins, 46, in an interview with BBC Wales.

After Murphy leveled the match at 5-5, Milkins won four of the next six frames to claim the Ray Reardon Trophy and a top prize of £80,000.

Milkins also won a bonus of £150,000 by securing top spot in the eight-match BetVictor series ranking list, bringing his total earnings for the week to £230,000.

“It’s unreal – that’s a lot of money to me,” Milkins said.

The final was held for the first time at Llandudno’s Venue Cymru and was tied at 4-4 going into the evening session after Milkins staged a remarkable comeback in the afternoon.

Milkins had fallen behind 3-1 initially, but he won the next three frames to take the lead for the first time.

He then won three of the first four frames of the evening to go 7-5 ahead at the mid-session interval.

Milkins won a tense 11th frame on a respotted black, and at 8-6 down, Murphy made a superb break of 114, the only century break of the match.

However, Milkins responded with a break of 64 to secure his second ranking title.

Harlow-born Murphy, who won the World Championship in 2005 and has not won a ranking title since the 2020 Welsh Open in Cardiff, was gracious in defeat.

“I made far too many unforced errors. I couldn’t have tried any harder,” he said.

“All credit to Rob, he was by far the better player. He fully deserved the victory.” This victory also brought Milkins back into the world’s top 16 players, and it was the most he had previously earned in an entire season at £139,000.

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