Trump begins his quest for a second UK crown on Thursday against David Lilley, the World Seniors champion whom coincidentally he also beat in the first round in Bolton last week.
Having previously reached quarter-finals at the Northern Ireland and English Opens respectively, the 32-year-old’s 10-4 thrashing of Higgins served up a spectacular reminder that he is back on top form.
Trump said: “It’s my first win of the season and it’s a massive one, but there are a lot of other major events coming up and hopefully this will kick-start my campaign.
“The standard is so high that any final you reach is incredible. To get this one under my belt early in the season, hopefully I can take some momentum from here.”
Trump claimed his sole UK title in 2011 and came closest to adding a second last season, when he was beaten in a thrilling final-frame decider by Neil Robertson.
The Australian also starts his title defence on Thursday when he takes on John J Astley in the opening round at York Barbican.
Three-time champion Higgins is the star attraction when the first round gets under way on Tuesday, as he faces Michael Georgiou hoping to show no ill effects from a third consecutive final loss.
Higgins lost final-frame deciders to both Mark Allen and Robertson in the Northern Ireland and English Opens respectively, before his hammering at the hands of Trump.
“It’s obviously an achievement, but you want to win events and I’ve lost three on the trot, so it’s not a great feeling,” admitted Higgins.
“But at least I can hold my hands up and say that I’ve been beaten by three unbelievable champions.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan starts his campaign on Wednesday against former ranking event winner Michael White the same night that world number one Mark Selby faces Ross Muir.
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