The fourth day of action in the qualifying competition for the British Open takes place in Wigan on Friday when 16 more players will take to the baize looking for the win which will see them through to the main draw next month.
This has been a week for the Chinese players so far and there are another two of those on show on Friday. A couple of household names are also part of what should be a decent schedule of play throughout the day.
As has been the case throughout the week so far the Chinese players are on show in the morning session. The pick of those is Zhou Yuelong who will look to make progress at the expense of Jenson Kendrick who is still fairly early into his professional career. Although Zhang Jiankang is lower ranked compared to Zhou, it might that his match has more attention on it as he takes on the star female on the tour in the form of Reanne Evans for a place in the main draw.
Early Afternoon Session
Dave Gilbert is the second highest ranked player we will see in qualifying this week and he attempts to reach the main draw in this first of the two afternoon sessions of play. If he is to get his cue out in Milton Keynes he will need to see off the talented Irish player Aaron Hill. The other match sees two men with a big opportunity in front of them meeting when Zak Surety and Ross Muir meet for valuable ranking points and much needed cash.
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Later Afternoon Session
There is another female player on show in the third session of the day on Friday. Rebecca Kenna will look to follow up the win of Ng On Yee on Thursday but she is unlikely to have it easy when she takes on the Welsh ace Ryan Day. The other match is big for both the competitors involved as Barry Pinches, who will be eager for ranking points and a big run somewhere this season, takes on Andy Lee, who is just starting out on his two year stint on the tour.
It might be that the most competitive snooker comes in the evening session where four competent players will be on show. In terms of rankings the pick of the two matches might well be the one which pits Jamie Jones against Scott Donaldson with both men probably ruing their luck at that draw. Two veterans of the tour meet in the other match when Anthony Hamilton takes on the legend that is Jimmy White, who will be looking to qualify for a second main draw in succession having successfully made it through European Masters qualifying last month.
Jamie Jones has started the season in wonderful scoring form and I think that could be the difference when he takes on Scott Donaldson in the evening session. I do like scorers at this stage of the season because it generally means they have been putting the work in so I fancy the Welshman here. To be fair to Donaldson, he comes into this match having got the better of John Higgins to qualify for the European Masters but having not played the Championship League, Higgins was rusty.
Jones won his first group in the Championship League and wasn’t exactly outclassed in his second section. He took care of Mark Davis to make it into the European Masters next week too so there should be a decent amount of confidence within Jones. Donaldson failed to beat Mink Nutcharut and Rod Lawler in his Championship League group. He made a very ordinary start to last term and that looks to be becoming a trend. Jones has hit the ground running and should probably be a bigger favourite for this match than he is.
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