Highly talented Welsh youngster Michael White capped a splendid run by claiming his maiden ranking title when he blanked world no. 8 Ricky Walden 5-0 in a one-sided final of the Indian Open Snooker Championship here today.
The 23-year-old White jumped to a 4-0 lead after firing in breaks of 81 (1st frame), 77 (2nd), 45 and 41 (3rd) and 32 and 58 (4th) even as his opponent looked on glumly before the organisers called for a 25-minute break in the best-of-nine-frame title contest.
Any hopes of the 32-year-old Walden staging a fight-back, as he had done when he clawed his way back from a 0-3 deficit to put it across exciting Thai talent and rank outsider Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in their morning semi final, were dashed as White took the fifth and title-deciding frame on a canter.
White won the final frame with his highest break of the match, 85, to take home the winner’s purse of pound sterling 50,000 while Walden got half that amount for finishing runner-up in the pound sterling 300,000 world ranking five-day event.
White won the summit contest 81 (81)-0, 77 (77)-20, 86-0, 90 (58)-1, 85 (85)-6.
The fact that Walden won a total of just 27 points, including 20 in the second, in the entire final indicates how lop-sided it was. The Englishman had beaten the Welsh player on both their previous meetings, including the quarter final of the 2013 World Championship 13-6. However, today the foot was on the other foot.
The great escape that he staged from the deep hole against Thai world no. 61 Thepchaiya in the morning semi final seemed to have sapped the energy of Walden winner of the International Championship in China last November - against a rival who gave him hardly a toe-hold.
White, who has entered the quarter finals of quite a few ranking events including the first Indian Open held in New Delhi in 2013 but has never gone beyond that stage, showed no mercy while simply cantering away to victory his second title triumph within a week's time after his win in the Shoot-Out at Blackpool, a pro non-ranking event.