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Ssb - who will be the wizard of oz?

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  • Ssb - who will be the wizard of oz?

    Mark Williams will play Stuart Bingham in the final of the Australian Goldfields Open tomorrow, a match which pits one of snooker's greatest champions against a player finally getting his reward after many years of effort.

    Bingham was appearing in his first ranking tournament semi-final but fought past Shaun Murphy 6-2 to take his place in the final.

    Williams at times played very well but was not put under sufficient pressure as he beat Ken Doherty 6-2.

    I'm sure Williams will start as big favourite for the title but, as ever, it's all on the day. Both players will have chances and it'll come down to who takes them.

    Williams certainly has the experience, the class and the confidence as world no.1 to come through for what would be his 19th world ranking title.

    He's won ranking titles in the UK, China, Thailand, Ireland and Germany and has clearly enjoyed Bendigo.

    His game is obviously rock solid but his attitude is also spot on. Jetlag, headaches and sundry other piffling concerns can go hang as far as the Welshman is concerned. He just gets on with it.

    Bingham knows that underdogs often do come through but that he will need to start well. One thing on his side is that he is well used to winning titles on the pro-am circuit and certainly has no reason to be tentative and do anything other than play his natural game.

    He's landed some good scalps this week but Williams is an altogether different prospect. It's over 15 years since he won his first ranking title and the problems of a few years ago must now feel like a distant memory.

    A fine atmosphere is guaranteed. The Australian snooker public have taken this new event to their hearts.

    Let's hope the final rewards their commitment to this welcome new addition to the tournament calendar.