EPTC5: Higgins downs Murphy to complete incredible comeback

Wow, who saw that one coming? Having been away from the game for over six months, John Higgins has tonight defeated Shaun Murphy to win the EPTC5 event on his comeback. John as a result moves up to number 2 on my projected seedings list and becomes the latest first-time winner of a PTC event.


A lot has been said about John Higgins during the past six months but what has never been disputed is his talent on the table. Indeed even following this year’s World Championship he stood alone at the top of the world rankings with a huge lead over his nearest competitor Ronnie O’Sullivan and but for his suspension would surely still be there now. He was always going to come back and win again.

That said, having been away from the table for so long, even I did not expect Higgins to hit the ground running quite so quickly! As I stated recently in fact, I did not expect him to be a winner this season so to do so in his first event back is a testament to both his ability on the table and his mental fortitude off it.

And it is not as if he won the event by beating poor players. In particular Shaun Murphy, Martin Gould, Tom Ford and Graeme Dott have all played some fine snooker this year and would have been a test for any player, let alone one who has not played competitively since April.

With no danger of falling out of the top 16 any time soon, the 2,000 points gained by John are not a huge concern but having earned nothing to this point so far this season, they have at least got the ball rolling and moved him back up above Ding Jungui and Ali Carter in my latest projected seedings list.

Other winners this week? After a tough start to the season Mark Allen’s run to the semi-finals has given him some much needed breathing space as he looks to consolidate his position inside the top 16 while a second consecutive EPTC quarter-final for Anthony Hamilton also gives the man from Nottingham some much needed points as he eyes a place inside the top 32.