Welsh Open Qualifiers 2009: Day Four News

Today sees the majority of the Welsh Open qualifiers come to a conclusion as the final qualifying round gets underway. Note that three matches will be held over to Newport however, in order to benefit the local players involved…

For the latest live scores as provided by the Global Snooker Centre, please click here.


As I feared, the match between Jimmy White and Ken Doherty proved to be something of an anti-climax this morning as Jimmy ran out a 5-0 winner in little over two hours. Frame scores are currently unavailable but however he did it, this is another excellent result this week and his reward is a tie with Ali Carter in front of the TV cameras in Newport later this month.

As good a win as this is for White, it is yet another blow to the confidence and the ranking of Doherty, a man who just two years ago had a chance to become world number one. With rumours circulating that he is close to announcing his retirement, this latest whitewash is only going to fuel them further, as he struggles to even get a frame at the moment. I just hope that he can make something happen at the World Championship qualifiers next month and do something to stablise his plunge down the rankings.

Following his terrific win against Judd Trump yesterday, Barry Pinches has done it again today and beaten another highly rated young player in the shape of Stoke’s Jamie Cope.

It looked like being a close match early on as the two traded frames to level at 3-3, but it was Pinches who managed to find something extra and make a break of 102 as he took the next two frames to book his place in Newport.

As I said yesterday it has been a pretty poor season for Pinches barring a last 16 run in Bahrain, but he has played brilliantly this week to win his three matches, all against players in good form too. Awaiting him in Newport will be UK Champion Shaun Murphy who will undoubtedly start off as the favourite, but having already beaten Trump and Cope, Barry will go into the event full of confidence.

For Jamie Cope this is a potentially significant blow at a time when he really needs to secure as many points as he can if he is to finally break into the elite top 16 at the end of the season. The good news for him is that he has qualified for China next month so will be able to add to his points tally there, as well as during the World Championship, but he now needs to go on a pretty good run in either if he is to leapfrog those ahead of him.

It was better news for another cueman from Stoke however as Dave Harold continued his strong form this season by cruising past Gerard Greene with a 5-1 win this morning. It was a fairly low-key match without any breaks of note, but having gone 4-0 up Dave put himself in a commanding position and in frame six managed to secure the one he needed to confirm his last 32 place.

Dave now has a real chance of securing a return to the top 16 after a seven year absence and can improve his chances further in Newport when he comes up against the struggling Mark King in the first round. Utlimately though it is likely to be the upcoming World Championship that will decide his fate…

Anthony Hamilton recorded a much needed 5-3 win today against fellow Nottingham pro Michael Holt to qualify for the last 32 in Newport where he will meet Peter Ebdon

Hamilton has had a tough time this season, in fact this is only his third win of the campaign and his first since the Grand Prix back in October. His aim for the season now will be to win enough matches both in this competition and in the World Championship to secure a top 32 place for another year, not unrealistic by any means but he will need to win a couple more matches yet to do it.

For Holt it is a blow but he remains well placed to move into the top 32 himself at the end of the season as he is still in the China Open and will be looking to qualify for the World Championship once again at the EISS.

The final match of the morning session to finish was a real thriller and saw local hope Paul Davies battle his way past another seed, former world number 12 Barry Hawkins and book a clash with defending champion Mark Selby in Newport.

Judging by his quotes as reported over at GSC (see link at top of article), Paul is absolutely thrilled at this result and rightly so as Barry is a very capable player who let’s not forget is ranked inside the top 16 on the latest provisional rankings. A quick look through Paul’s results tells me that this is his best result since the 2007 UK Championship where he fell at the last 32 stage to Shaun Murphy, but to reach the TV stages of his home event must be right up there.

For Hawkins though this is another significant blow to his chances of a return to the top 16 for the first time since 2006/7. While he has enjoyed a good season so far, he has now lost his last two qualifying matches and his only chance to improve his ranking before the end of the season will come in the World Championship. While Barry is more than capable of winning a couple of matches there, he has certainly made things harder for himself than he could have done…

Barry Hawkins 4-5 Paul Davies 125(78)-16, 54-70, 69-30, 81(78)-16, 12-110(110), 34-73, 99(63)-14, 43-67, 17-67
Anthony Hamilton 5-3 Michael Holt 65(51)-42, 65-30, 45-76, 65-5, 25-82(58), 17-85(63), 66-12, 64-61
Michael Judge 5-2 Stuart Pettman 12-113(91), 52-47, 88(78)-34, 26-73, 90(90)-30, 80(60)-7, 67-43
Ken Doherty 0-5 Jimmy White 38-61, 31-79(65), 50-58(54), 25-68, 49-67
Ian McCulloch 4-5 Mike Dunn 32-56, 19-65, 10-67(54), 73(51)-63, 16-76(50), 70-12, 61-9, 96-26, 0-73
Dave Harold 5-1 Gerard Greene 65-21, 62-41, 75-12, 74-64, 16-63, 59-48
Jamie Cope 3-5 Barry Pinches 8-60, 71-0, 20-54, 92(87)-4, 87-17, 8-68, 0-102(102), 47-69


One of the surprises of the evening tonight came from Fergal O’Brien who managed to see off the Shanghai Masters winner Ricky Walden by a comfortable 5-1 scoreline.

At first glance it might not appear to be that surprising, indeed Fergal is the higher ranked player, but before today he had only won two matches in ranking events this season, albeit one was during the recent China Open qualifiers. Today though he played well from the start, making breaks of 51 and 59, as well as winning a series of tight frames as Ricky soon found himself 4-0 down. Though he managed to pull one back with a run of 41, Fergal managed to to knock in a run of 71 to complete a much-needed win.

For Fergal this sees him edge closer to securing his top 32 spot for another season but for Ricky it is disappointing, particularly as he is so close to a top 16 spot with the season drawing to a close. He will now need to win a few matches out in Beijing as well as at the World Championship if he is to make this dream a reality however…

After his sensational performance yesterday to knock out Mark Joyce, Scotland’s Jamie Burnett turned on the style again today as he sent the 2006 Welsh Open champion Stephen Lee crashing out at Pontin’s.

It was a close match initially as despite a break of 93 in the third frame, Jamie found himself 3-2 behind not longer after. From here though he found the kind of consistency with his scoring that he showed yesterday as further runs of 68, 72 and 66 gave him the next three frames and completed an excellent win.

You have to give him a lot of credit for the way he has responded since the whole match-fixing row from the UK Championship back in December. In the two ranking events this year he has won three of his four matches and given himself every chance of retaining a top 48 places, a better achievement than it looks given that he started the season 56th on the provisional list.

In what was a predictably close affair it was Martin Gould who was just able to edge veteran Nigel Bond to earn a last 32 clash with Stephen Hendry in Newport.

Indeed it was tight all the way through, both scoring reasonably well and never being separated by more than a single frame. In the end though it was was Gould who managed to take the all-important deciding frame with a couple of small breaks and keep his recent good run going. Next up for him will be a real test against the seven-times world champion Hendry, but given the recent form of the Scot then you never know, Martin might just be in with a chance of causing an upset…

Stuart Bingham 3-5 Ian Preece 31-72, 36-80(79), 75(56)-1, 12-77(77), 59-39, 54-14, 1-65(64), 32-71(35)
Joe Swail – Marcus Campbell 32-58, 66-21, 14-65(43), 13-63, 76(53)-0, 105(105)-40, 69(45)-25, 68(54)-25
Nigel Bond 4-5 Martin Gould 84(61)-44(44), 15-54, 0-75(53), 51-20, 89(65)-6, 33-69(41), 49-77(40), 57-5, 0-81(37,36)
Stephen Lee 3-5 Jamie Burnett 68(64)-17, 20-54, 0-93(93), 76(46)-32, 63-0, 44-68(68), 0-86(72), 0-66(66)
Fergal O’Brien 5-1 Ricky Walden 71(51)-67(63), 94(59)-29, 86-21, 78-51(51), 2-66(41), 71(71)-22
Steve Davis 5-2 Tom Ford 87(52)-0, 0-98(73), 92(84)-0, 56-19, 14-72(44), 61(48)-53, 65(59)-48(42)