Rory McLeod won a title carrying ranking points for the first time by beating Tian Pengfei 4-2 in the final of the Ruhr Open in Mülheim, Germany.
World number 61 McLeod beat 70th-ranked Pengfei in a surprise final at the season’s third Kreativ Dental Clinic European Tour event.
Leicester-based 44-year-old McLeod, snooker’s only black professional, collected the 25,000 Euro top prize after winning seven matches. His only previous pro title came at the qualifying event for the Masters in 2009.
McLeod, who has never been past the last 16 of a full ranking event, went 2-0 up in the final with top breaks of 57 and 41. China’s Tian, playing in his first pro final, pulled one back with a run of 78.
Frame four went to McLeod thanks to a break of 58 then Tian hit back again with a superb 106. But McLeod was not to be denied as he sealed victory in frame six with a top run of 55.
“It feels great, it’s everything that I really wanted,” said McLeod. “In the final I just tried to stick in there, stay positive and not get ahead of myself. I just wanted to enjoy it because this is where I want to be.”
Earlier in the semi-finals, McLeod beat Mike Dunn 4-1 while Tian edged out David Gilbert 4-3.
The Kreativ Dental Clinic European Tour is a series of six events across the continent, with the top 24 on the final Order of Merit to qualify for the Players Championship. The next event is the Bulgarian Open in Sofia from November 4-8.
Results (last 16 onwards)
Mark Davis 4-2 Luca Brecel
Rory McLeod 4-1 Ben Woollaston
Mark Williams 4-3 Mark Selby
Mike Dunn 4-1 Andrew Higginson
Tian Pengfei 4-1 Shaun Murphy
Alan McManus 4-0 Dominic Dale
David Gilbert 4-2 Peter Ebdon
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Mark Allen
McLeod 4-3 Davis
Dunn 4-1 Williams
Tian 4-3 McManus
McLeod 4-1 Dunn
Tian 4-3 Gilbert
McLeod 4-2 Tian