Maguire looks to build on win
Stephen Maguire has set himself the challenge of rapidly adding to his trophy haul after ending the hurt of his five-year wait to win a ranking event title at the BetVictor Welsh Open.
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The Scot showed tremendous nerve and character in Newport as he battled back from 7-5 down to eventually prevail 9-8 after a final-frame shoot-out with Stuart Bingham and take the £50,000 first prize.
Maguire's last title had come at the China Open in 2008, since when he has lost three finals, including in Wales in 2011.
The Glaswegian's talent has never been in doubt, but he admitted he had been unsure whether he would ever end another tournament as the man holding the trophy.
It sets the 31-year-old up nicely for the World Championship, but Maguire is not looking too far ahead, instead wanting to add another victory to his tally before heading to the Crucible in April.
"I feel great now and I will feel great for the next few days. But I have another tournament coming up in China very soon and I want to be able to push on from here," he said.
"I don't want it to be five years before I win another trophy, that was too long and I was starting to doubt if I would ever do it again. Now I am back in the winner's enclosure it is very important I push on.
"I want to make sure I do not lose touch with the boys who have been winning tournaments. There have been guys winning tournaments who I think I am better than and it was hurting me.
"A lot can happen between now and the World Championship, there are three tournaments and I would like to win another trophy.
"This year's World Championship is wide open but it does not get better than winning a tournament, particularly as it is getting harder every year."
Maguire was particularly pleased with the resolve he showed with the final apparently slipping away from him.
There were moments during the 12th and 13th frames where he looked a beaten man, sitting in his chair with his head in his hands, but he bounced back up off the canvas.
"I was very pleased with the way I finished the match, especially after I let him get back to 8-8 after I had been leading 8-7, at that point I thought I had let it go," he said.
"I had to have a few words with myself and I was chuffed to get the chance to win it and make it count."
Bingham was devastated to have seen a match-winning position slip through his fingers, particularly a simple pink he missed to make it 8-5 when Maguire was struggling.
But the Essex player, who is set to climb to seventh in the world rankings, is confident he is heading in the right direction with Sheffield looming on the horizon.
He said: "I am gutted, it would have meant so much to secure the trophy. But it has been a brilliant week and I've pulled a few matches out of the fire against Neil Robertson and Ding Junhui.
"Maybe I am biased but I think I was the better player in the final, I came out and took the game to him in the evening session and when it went to 7-5 I had chances but I blew them.
"But my game is in good shape, hopefully if I can stay high in the rankings it will give me confidence because I have had a great season."