Haikou, Hainan Island, China - Feburary 27 - March 4
DRAW & FORMAT - WORLD SNOOKER
Haikou World Open Final 2012 - Mark Allen Wins Maiden Title in China
Antrim's Mark Allen has been a professional for close to eight years now and before this season he featured in six major semi-finals and hadn't progressed any further.
He managed to get over that hurdle last December where he nearly won a thrilling UK Championship final against Judd Trump but fell short at the end, but he definitely looked like he wouldn't have to wait long to lift a trophy himself.
Today at the Haikou World Open in China he managed to do just that, by thrashing a resurgent Stephen Lee 10-1 with bouts of high scoring from Allen.
Allen nicked the first frame on the colours and then breaks of 104, 50, 127 and 53 gave him a 5-0 lead in just under 90 minutes.
A top run of 67 in the sixth frame gave Trowbridge's Lee a glimmer of hope as he pulled it back to 5-1 behind in the best of 19 encounter.
Unfortunately for the four-times ranking event winner it wasn't to be as he found himself down 8-1 at the end of the session and Allen finished the match with a break of 104 for a resounding 10-1 victory.
Not only has Northern Ireland's top professional managed to win his first ranking title today he managed to perform the biggest win in a final since John Higgins beat Shaun Murphy 18-9 in the 2009 world final.
Allen just as he did in the UK Championship has looked dangerous all week in Haikou and his eleven century breaks are a testament to that even with the humid condititions in the arena. Lets hope he can avoid any more controversy for the rest of the season.
Lee will obviously be disappointed with how the final went but he has lots of positives to take back home including his 5-3 win over Neil Robertson. He will definitely be challenging for titles again in the upcoming seasons.
Not only is this a great victory for Allen but also to his team and supporters at On Q Promotions. Terry Griffiths especially has been instrumental in Allen's recent success and will no doubt be in his corner at the world championships.
Once again, congratulations to Mark Allen. The Haikou World Open 2012 Champion!
Mark Allen 10-1 Stephen Lee
66-55, 104-0 (104), 59-26 (50), 127-7 (127), 59-2 (53), 55-68 (67, 55), 72-39, 76-67, 123-0 (123), 69-18, 105-19 (104)
Mark Allen - Haikou World Open Champion 2012
Photo courtesy - Top147.com