Yesterday saw the top half of the draw begin their PTC7 campaigns and there were shocks to be had as three members of the world’s current top four exited the tournament. Click below for more…
Beginning the second phase of the season provisionally ranked down in 17th place, Ronnie O’Sullivan yesterday reached the last 16 in gloucester with the minimum of fuss with victories against Jordan Winbourne, Aditya Mehta and finally Martin Gould. From what I saw he looked to be in decent shape, top breaks of 107 and 103 through the day as well as by all accounts an excellent clearance against Gould in one of the frames which left the Pinner Potter shaking his head.
Next up for Ronnie on Sunday will be Scotland’s Stephen Maguire who after an indifferent start to the season will be looking to get some more important points on the board this weekend. Victories against Liam Monk, Barry Hawkins and David Morris will hopefully give his confidence a boost and it will be interesting to see how he gets on against O’Sullivan, a man who has got the better of Stephen more often than not in recent years.
It was not to be such a good say for reigning world champion John Higgins who after a 4-2 win against amateur player John Sutton exited at the hands of one of Maguire’s victims, Irishman David Morris. At one stage it looked as though it would be a familiar outcome as John took frames three and four to draw level at 2-2 but it was Morris who was able to come again and send the PTC5 finalist crashing out.
Also making an early exit was last week’s champion Neil Robertson who lost out to one of the most dangerous players ranked outside of the top 32 at the moment, Anthony Hamilton. From there the man from Nottingham was also able to dispatch Welshman Dominic Dale before being sent home by PTC5 winner Andrew Higginson.
Through to face Higginson is Welsh youngster Michael White who after being unfortunate to miss out on a place inside the top 64 at the first cut-off, hit a break of 140 on his way to the last 16 yesterday.
Elsewhere the very talented Kyren Wilson became one the first amateur player to reach the last 16 of a PTC event since Jak Jones back at the PTC2 event in August. As was the case with Jak, perhaps being on home turf so to speak at the South West Snooker Academy has helped him, but his victories against Ben Woollaston, Tian Pengfei and Michael Holt are impressive nonetheless. His win against Michael was all the more so given the fact that the Hitman had earlier seen off Mark Williams.
Next up for Kyren will be Joe Perry after the former world semi-finalist edged out Stephen Hendry last night to reach the last 16 in Gloucester. Despite defeat for Hendry however there were positives to be had as following an erratic display against David Gray in his opening match, he made two centuries during his following two matches, including an eyebrow-raising 4-0 win against Stephen Lee.
Also through to a meeting tomorrow are Liu Chuang and Mark King, the latter having come back from 3-1 down to defeat Patrick Wallace at one stage while Liu conquered Australian Open champion Stuart Bingham before racing past Rory McLeod later in the evening.