Welsh Open Snooker 2022 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

The European Masters might only have finished late in the day on Sunday but the snooker tour stops for nobody in this day and age and as such the Welsh Open main draw begins on Monday when the top 16 in the world join those who qualified for the event at the Celtic Manor in Newport.

We saw an amazing upset in this tournament last season when Jordan Brown knocked off Ronnie O’Sullivan in a deciding frame and the Northern Irishman will be in Wales to make an attempt to defend the title successfully.

Recent Winners

2021 – Jordan Brown

2020 – Shaun Murphy

2019 – Neil Robertson

2018 – John Higgins

2017 – Stuart Bingham

2016 – Ronnie O’Sullivan

2015 – John Higgins

2014 – Ronnie O’Sullivan

2013 – Stephen Maguire

2012 – Ding Junhui

The Format

These Home Nations events have been around for a while now and while the format of them hasn’t changed, the way the arenas have been put together have. There are four tables in action throughout the event, which allows us to follow the action a lot easier, and there has been a qualifying round to avoid taking the whole 128 players in the field to the main venue. Some of those qualifiers have been held over and will be played on Monday though with the main draw also beginning on Monday. The tournament is the best of seven frames up to the quarter finals which are played over the best of nine frames on Friday with the two semi-finals the best of 11 frames on the Saturday and the title will be won on the Sunday of the event over the best of 17 frames.

Top Quarter

As the defending champion it is Jordan Brown who is the number one seed this week and as such he heads up the top quarter. Whenever we get a number one seed who is outside the top 16 in the world rankings there is always an open feel to the top quarter and that is the case here. Another reason why it is the case is because Shaun Murphy is one of the three top 16 players in this section and his form is terrible. That might well leave the UK Championship and German Masters winner Zhao Xintong and Anthony McGill thinking they have every chance this week.

Two standout home players are in this part of the draw this week in the form of Ryan Day and Matthew Stevens. Both will be hoping for a big week, especially with crowds back in the venue this year. The Shootout champion Hossein Vafaei is also in this quarter while other notables who could have a crack at the title this week include Lu Ning and Anthony Hamilton. Robbie Williams and Yuan Sijun could be dangerous too.

Second Quarter

The second quarter of the draw this week could throw up a tasty quarter final if the event goes to the seeding as the English Open, The Masters and Players Championship champion Neil Robertson could line up against the Champion of Champions winner Judd Trump, although the latter might need to improve his form for that to happen. The other two members of the top 16 in the quarter this week are Barry Hawkins and Stephen Maguire.

There are plenty of players outside the top 16 in this quarter who will be eyeing up a strong week. They include the two men who lost in the European Masters semi-finals on Saturday in Graeme Dott and Liang Wenbo. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is skidding down the rankings fast so he’ll be out for a big week here to arrest that slide. Players Championship semi-finalist Jimmy Robertson is also in this section as are home stars Jamie Jones and Jamie Clarke. Ben Woollaston, Jimmy White and Alexander Ursenbacher also catch the eye here as does the British Open finalist Gary Wilson.

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Third Quarter

At the time of writing the leading seed in the third quarter is expected to be the European Masters finalist on Sunday in Ronnie O’Sullivan, although there are strong fears that he will pull out of the tournament. If he does then it will be Kyren Wilson who is the highest ranked player in this section while Mark Allen and Yan Bingtao will be the other two members of the top 16 who could see their draw naturally open up.

This is another lit up section of the draw with Ding Junhui in it. He is now the seventh highest ranked Chinese player in the world and will be out to put that right here. Ricky Walden is one of the players of the season and a big week here could force him into the Tour Championship. Michael Holt, Noppon Saengkham, Matthew Selt and Joe Perry are some of the established players who will be looking to build some form while Cao Yupeng and Li Hang are dangerous Chinese players.

Bottom Quarter

He might be the world number one and the world champion but Mark Selby is only the second seed this week so he will be housed in the bottom quarter of the draw. Assuming he can find some form, Selby could be involved in a quarter final against John Higgins come the end of the week although the home crowds will be hoping that Mark Williams can have more than a bit to say about that. Stuart Bingham is the other member of the top 16 in this section.

Jack Lisowski has now fallen out of the top 16 so he is in need of a big week with the cut off point for the World Championship coming along soon. Ali Carter is another who might set up the chance to bypass qualifying for Sheffield if he can go well. Kurt Maflin, Scott Donaldson, Chris Wakelin and Elliot Slessor will all hope to go well this week as will the now Welsh amateur Michael White. Pang Junxu is another who could catch the eye.


Usually I would only take one outright bet in each half of the draw but I’ve talked myself into continuing to follow a couple of players I’ve been backing since the turn of the year. They are Mark Williams and Liang Wenbo. I’ve been saying for a while that I’m convinced there is a tournament win in Williams and if he stops bungling leads when the format increases I might be proved right. He’ll be heavily motivated to win here in front of a home crowd and generally performs well in this tournament despite the expectations on him. Wenbo was probably the best player in the tournament at the European Masters but ran into O’Sullivan on the wrong night in the semi-final. I haven’t given up on his form yet so I’ll back him too.

The other player I like this week is Anthony McGill. Usually he doesn’t come alive until the Crucible but that has changed this season and in the last three months he has reached the quarter final in the UK Championship and the semi-final of the Scottish Open where the on fire at the time Luca Brecel beat him on both occasions. He then went down to Liang Wenbo in the last eight in the European Masters last week so isn’t quite coming out on the right side of the margins but he is playing some nice snooker. McGill made 11 50 breaks and three centuries in four matches in Milton Keynes. That took his century tally for the season up to 14 and when you consider he isn’t known for his scoring that says a lot about how he is playing. McGill is in the top quarter this week which just looks wide open so at 40/1 he’s worthy of an outright interest.


Back M.Williams to win Welsh Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 26.00 with Betfair (1/2 1-2)

Back him here:

Back A.McGill to win Welsh Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 41.00 with Coral (1/2 1-2)

Back him here:

Back L.Wenbo to win Welsh Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with BetVictor (1/2 1-2)

Back him here:

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Author: Martha Chavez