Mark Williams Victorious in WST Pro Series

The Welshman moves back into fifth place on his own on the all-time ranking event winners’ list.

Mark Williams dominated the final group stage of the WST Pro Series to claim a 23rd ranking title of an illustrious career on Sunday in Milton Keynes.

The 46 year-old celebrated his birthday in style and is the oldest player to win a tournament of this status since countryman Doug Mountjoy more than 30 years ago.

Despite the short format and a high-profile last-eight field, Williams was in complete control after beating favourite Judd Trump 2-0 in his opening round-robin fixture.

Victories against Sam Craigie, Kyren Wilson, Ali Carter, Jack Lisowski, and Xiao Guodong followed as Williams secured the success with a match to spare.

It left defeat to Stuart Bingham in his last encounter redundant, and Williams pocketed a total of £31,500 for his exploits in what was the inaugural WST Pro Series.

With a record of five wins and two losses each, Carter and Craigie finished in second and third respectively, with world number one Trump in fourth.

The triumph represents a first for Williams since capturing the 2018 World Open not long after securing his third world crown at the Crucible.

Williams will now head to the upcoming World Championship with renewed confidence, albeit the format in Sheffield is markedly different from the one that was incorporated for the WST Pro Series.

Indeed, the tournament was a mostly forgettable affair that will not rank highly on many fans’ list of events to follow on the calendar.

The WST Pro Series served its purpose to give players more playing opportunities in a difficult season that has been impacted heavily by COVID-19 and travel restrictions.

But in any other year, there would be no masking the fact that this was an awful event with a desperate, long-winded format which failed to capture the imagination of the viewer.

Williams won’t care too much about that, though, and the former world number one rises back above Trump in the all-time ranking event list.

In addition to lifting the trophy, Williams will also be granted an invitation to the lucrative Champion of Champions tournament later this year.

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