Gould buoyed by friend Bingham’s glory

Martin Gould says new world champion and stablemate Stuart Bingham helped provide the inspiration to his stunning start to the new season.

Gould reached the final of the Australian Open, only losing a thrilling final 9-8 to four-time world champion John Higgins.

And the world number 25 said fellow SightRight cueman Bingham’s magnificent Crucible victory in May was a source of motivation.

“Stuart winning the World Championship kind of inspired me,” Gould told West London Sport.

“It helped because we are friends and stablemates and it made me think that if he can do it why can’t I?

“I can’t complain and couldn’t have gone much closer to winning in Australia, but I still can’t deny I am gutted to lose in the final.

“In all fairness, the whole week lived up to my expectations. I felt so good, I felt really confident and am pretty sure that people will have taken notice of how I played.”

Gould, 33, did not qualify for the World Championship in April but, after taking a short break at the end of his season, the Pinner potter was quickly back on the practice table.

“I haven’t had much of a break,” Gould said. “I was bugging my coach Steve Feeney within a couple of days of the World Championship and we have worked on a lot of things.

“Getting off to a good start to the season is massive. It gives you real self-belief.

“I have put in a lot of hard work and was ready for Australia.”

The graft paid off with Gould beating beating Marco Fu, Michael Holt, Matthew Selt and Stephen Maguire on the way to his first ranking final since 2011.

And Gould dedicated his achievements to his step-sister Sue, whose father died before the tournament.

“It spurred me on,” Gould explained. “I wanted to make my sister proud so I dedicated that to her.

“It hit her and, having lost our mum, I understand what she’s going through.”

Gould is next in action in the Riga Open, which gets under way at the end of July.

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