The Welsh Open comes along a little later in the year this season but as with all the other Home Nations events so far players have to win a preliminary match to make it to the main venue with qualifying beginning on Tuesday.
There are three sessions of play with a couple of matches in each one on Tuesday and while the truly big names get their opener saved for the main event in a couple of weeks, we still have some decent players on show.
Early Afternoon Session
The Players Championship semi-finalist Jimmy Robertson is straight back on the horse first up on Tuesday when the man who went down to eventual champion Neil Robertson on Saturday evening looks to make it into the main stage when he takes on Peter Devlin. The other match in this session will be key for Jamie Clarke. Every player wants to play in his home tournament and I’m sure he is no different so he will be eager to get the better of Farakh Ajaib and book his spot in the main draw.
Later Afternoon Session
Matthew Stevens is one of the most popular Welsh players and he will be eager to play in front of a home crowd later in the season. He needs to win his match against Joe O’Connor not just to play on home soil but also to ease what are rapidly growing concerns that he might fall off the tour at the end of the season. The other match offers up the chance for two men down the rankings to pick up some money and points when Ben Hancorn takes on the amateur David Lilley, the World Seniors champion who will be looking to make it back onto the tour with some good results.
Sign up for a Boylesports account to get up to £25 in free bets! Perfect offer for this event! Click the image below for this great offer! New accounts only. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
There is only one session of action in the evening and it is Mark Joyce who will be the highest ranked player on show. He meets yet another Welsh ace on show on the opening day of qualifying in the form of the potential young star Jackson Page, who like the two Welshmen who go before him will be determined to make it through to play in front of his home fans. The other match sees Robbie Williams on show. He goes up against another of the amateurs in the field in the form of Sanderson Lam.
I’ll go with the one bet over the course of the day on Tuesday and I’m going to take a Welsh player to make it through when Jackson Page meets Mark Joyce. Joyce isn’t having a particularly great season and I tend to think he performs better when he’s at a venue rather than when he has to play in front of nobody in these qualifying competitions. That is played out when you look at his results this term. The only qualifying match he has won came in the English Open but that was against Jack Lisowski so was held over to the venue. His only other victories since the Championship League came at the UK Championship where there wasn’t a qualifying round.
I think the flair and exuberance of youth that Page has would mean that he will thrive more at the venue as well but he has that natural talent, combined with real motivation in this match to get through to his home event, that can see him come through these more sterile conditions just on pure ability. Page has wins over Jack Lisowski and Stuart Bingham on his CV this season, the latter coming in Turkish Masters qualifying just a couple of weeks ago. Joyce has already lost to the likes of Zak Surety, Zhang Jiankang and Simon Lichtenberg in qualifying events this season and Page is better than all three of those. He can add his name to the list of players to beat Joyce in qualifiers this term.
Back J.Page to beat M.Joyce for a 3/10 stake at 2.05 with BetVictor
Back him here: