It is the final day of qualifying for the British Open on Sunday as the 16 players who are yet to battle it out for their spot in the main draw next month head to Wigan looking to pick up the win they need to make it through.
We’ve seen some excellent snooker over the course of the first five days of this qualifying campaign and there is nothing to suggest that we won’t get much more of the same over the four sessions of play on Sunday.
For once we don’t begin the day with a couple of Chinese players on show as has been the case throughout the week so far. This time there is just the one player from China in the first session of the day but it is actually Jimmy Robertson who is the highest ranked player on show. He has a date with the talented Louis Heathcote who could do with a run somewhere to begin to fulfil that talent. The other match sees Chang Bingyu looking to follow a healthy Chinese contingent into the main draw when he takes on Fergal O’Brien.
Early Afternoon Session
The former Welsh Open champion Jordan Brown is the leading light in the second session of the day. He has had a promising start to the new campaign and he’ll be looking to build on that when he takes on the Chinese player Pang Junxu. There is another Chinese player on show on the other table when Xiao Guodong looks to make it through to the main draw. He has also started the season in emphatic fashion and he goes up against David Lilley.
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Later Afternoon Session
It is a Welsh session in the third one of the day with three of the four players taking to the baize all from Wales. It is actually a Scot who is the highest ranked player on show though when Stephen Maguire is in action. He meets Matthew Stevens for the second time this season after the two were in the same Championship League group. The other match sees Jak Jones looking to make it through when he takes on an Andrew Pagett who lost out to Jimmy White in European Masters qualifying.
We have a good session to finish off the qualifying competition with and it has the Gibraltar Open champion Robert Milkins as the headline act in it. The speedy potter will go up against Peter Lines for a place in the main draw. The action on the other table might just be the pick of the qualifying matches as Michael White, who has made a very strong start to the season, takes on a Noppon Saengkham who is more than capable of doing some damage should he get through to Milton Keynes.
Michael White has started the season really positively and has already accounted for Martin Gould, Mark Joyce, Dave Gilbert and Robert Milkins among others in the Championship League and European Masters and I expect him to kick on now that he is back on the tour and not playing under the pressure of every opportunity potentially being his last. He now meets Noppon Saengkham who is a decent player in his own right but who has had his European Masters qualifier held over to the venue next week.
The Thai played his Championship League group on June 29 which means he hasn’t played a competitive match in six weeks and although the margins were a little more extreme, we saw on Saturday with Fan Zhengyi how it isn’t easy to face someone who has been active when you haven’t played much recently. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Saengkham needs the run out here but he can’t afford to be below par as White looks in good touch. I think the Welshman can take this one down.
Back M.White to beat N.Saengkham for a 3/10 stake at 1.95 with Betway