Reigning world champion Judd Trump kicked off his season with a brutal demolition of Shaun Murhpy in the final of the International Championship in Daqing.
Having skipped the recent Riga Masters, this was Trump's first competitive appearance since winning the World Championship at Sheffield in May, but there were very few signs of rustiness all week, the 29-year-old gliding through the early rounds before producing a near-flawless exhibition of snooker in the final, a string of big breaks accompanied by two sublime centuries.
By reaching the quarter-finals earlier in the week, Trump was assured of regaining the world number one spot from the absent Ronnie O'Sullivan, but in going on to lift the trophy on Sunday he fired a frightening early warning shot to the rest of the tour ahead of the forthcoming events.
For Murphy, his run to the final signalled a welcome return to form following a chastising season last term but having overcome close friend Mark Allen in their semi-final clash on Saturday, he proved no match for Trump who quickly marched into a 4-0 lead thanks to breaks of 58, 104 and 58.
To his credit, Murphy hung in there and having lost the first frame upon returning from the mid-session interval, a break of 87 in frame six finally got him up and running before he dominated frame seven to reduce his arrears to 5-2.
Trump quickly responded by putting together a run of 74 but Murphy ended the first session with a break of 79, keeping his hopes alive at 6-3 down.
However, any thoughts of a memorable comeback were soon extinguished when the players returned for the concluding session, Trump opening up with quickfire break 80 before adding contributions of 63, 102 and 62 to race over the winning line and leave Murphy with little chance of producing a fightback.
Defeat for Murphy was softened with a runners-up cheque for £75,000 and his efforts also secured his qualification for the upcoming Shanghai Masters which features the top 16 in the world rankings.
Trump will head to Shanghai £175,000 richer having claimed his 12th ranking title victory and will know that his game is in fine working order ahead one of the biggest events on the early-season calendar.
He told World Snooker: "After the World Championship it was always going to be difficult. I went away and prepared as a World Champion should do.
"It is very easy to get a little bit carried away after winning at the Crucible and to drop off a little bit. So to get my foot back on the gas and win in the first event shows just how hard I’ve worked in the off season.
“You never know what is around the corner. I could go out early at the Shanghai Masters and go through a bad period.
"As long as I keep preparing how I have done, putting in the work and being mentally right out there then there is no reason why I can’t keep winning.
"Sooner or later everyone has a bad spell, hopefully mine isn’t for another ten years.”