STUART Bingham admitted it felt ‘unbelievable’ to win the fifth ranking event of his career.

Bingham came out on top in a tense English Open final, with the Bowers Gifford-based snooker star beating Mark Davis 9-7.

And Bingham, who was emotional after being crowned champion in Crawley, confirmed he was overjoyed to emerge victorious and celebrate with his family.

Bingham said: “It was unbelievable to win the English Open and celebrate with my family.

“My wife was in Clacton, where we have a caravan, with the kids for the last few days.

“She was going to leave our youngest child with a friend but I said I wanted her to come because if I won I wanted a picture with all of them.

“It was great to have everyone there and when we got home after the final, she said she was so glad she brought the kids with her for the match.”

Bingham and Davis, who are also close friends away from the snooker table, were tied at 4-4 after the first session and they still could not be separated after 14 frames.

But the 15th frame saw Bingham move ahead with a break of 102 and he took the next frame to lift the Steve Davis Trophy, denying Davis in his first ranking final.

And Bingham, who was able to celebrate claiming his first title since the Welsh Open 20 months ago, admitted going head-to-head with Davis for silverware was an odd scenario.

The 2015 world champion added: “It was a hard-fought match and it was hard playing against a good friend in Mark, but I was over the moon to win.

“It felt weird playing someone you are such good friends with in a match that means so much.

“I was driving up to the final with my manager and I felt a bit too relaxed.

“Neither of us were at our best at the start of the match, but it was a good game in the end.”

While Ronnie O’Sullivan - who was beaten by Davis in the semi-finals - was critical of Crawley’s K2 Leisure Centre, Bingham did not have a problem with the English Open arena.

“I thought it was good and it reminded me of Basildon Sporting Village,” admitted Bingham, 42.

“There was a running track outside, a swimming pool and squash courts as well which was great because I played squash before getting into snooker.

“Personally, I thought it was a good venue.”

The triumph allowed Bingham to hold aloft his first title since returning from a three-month ban for breaching betting rules.

And Bingham was delighted to leave Crawley as the champion.

“It has been a hard 18 months or so and it was great to get my hands on the trophy,” he confirmed.

“It was good to prove a few haters and doubters wrong.

“The win has given my confidence a lift.”

Due to the competition being held in Crawley, Bingham commuted to and from the arena from his home.

And Bingham felt that helped him during the tournament.

“Crawley is only an hour away and you need a break from the venue,” he said.

“It was nice to come home and get away from it all.

“I enjoyed being able to come home and switch off to an extent.”

And although Bingham could be forgiven for wanting to extend his celebrations, he will be preparing for his next tournament by getting on a flight to China today.

Bingham confirmed: “I’m flying out to China today because I’m in the International Championship.

“I’m up against Eden Sharav on Sunday and hopefully I can continue where I left off at the English Open.”