Robert Milkins became the oldest player to win a tournament on the leaderboard for the first time since 1988 with a victory at the Gibraltar Open on Saturday. At 46, Milkins became the oldest first-time ranked event winner since Doug Mountjoy won the British Championship in 1988. That day, Milkins became No. 43 globally, known as the milkman on tour, the first and oldest winner of such an event.
It was Milkins who became the winner, winning the first title in his 27-year career. Defeated six times earlier in the tournament’s semi-finals on the leaderboard, he became a lucky seventh for Robert Milkins when he overtook Jack Jones, who defeated Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham earlier on Saturday, to reach the final of the Gibraltar Open. Robert Milkins turned professional in 1995 and has previously appeared in six semi-finals of ranking events, but never in the final, as he is undoubtedly experiencing the best moment of his 27-year career.
Robert Milkins went to the Gibraltar Open with the goal of winning the “game” to “try to make some money for the kids” and ended up taking his first tournament title in 27 years as a professional. The high point of Robert Milkins’ long professional career came just a couple of weeks after what was arguably his lowest when he hit the headlines at the opening of the Turkish Masters following an alcoholic birthday party that ended with his stomach being pumped out. Judd Trump has seen his hopes of winning Gibraltar dashed for the third year after Ricky Walden whitewashed him 4-0 early Saturday.
Appearing at No. 11 on the leaderboard for Kyren Wilson – and first of the season – Wilson lost just two before beating Ricky Walden 4-3 in the semifinals. Kyren Wilson reached the ranking finals for the first time this season and finished second with 20,000 PS. Kyren Wilson could have secured a spot by winning the BetVictor Gibraltar Open, but his loss to Robert Milkins in the final meant John Higgins was eighth and last in the annual standings.
After joining the winner’s list for the first time this season – along with David Gilbert, Zhao Xintong, Hossein Vafaei, Fan Zhengyi and Joe Perry – Robert Milkins will make his Cazoo Champion of Champions debut later this year and move up the world rankings from 43 to 28. John Higgins was looking forward to having his seat closed and will always be grateful to Robert Milkins. They beat Kyren Wilson in the Gibraltar final on Saturday and forfeited the Warrior a seat in Wales. If Ricky Walden had beaten world No. 5 Kyren Wilson in the semi-finals to lift the trophy, the Chester player would have won 200,000 PS for a place in the Tour Championship.