Day one of the PTC Finals in Galway is at an end and while the action has not been televised so far, on paper at least there have been a few interesting results. Click below for the updated drawsheet and projected seedings…
By his own admission Jack Lisowski has not enjoyed the best of seasons in 2011/12 so far, but today he recorded an excellent 4-3 victory against world number 24 Barry Hawkins to move into the second round. A close match throughout, Hawkins forced a decider with a break of 68, before Lisowski won it in one-visit with 98 of his own to set up a tie with former world champion Neil Robertson in the next round.
As Jack revealed after the match, initially he had feared that he might have had to take part in a play-off match against Michael White in order to qualify for the tournament as the pair had previously finished level on the PTC Order of Merit following the 12 regular PTC events this season. Crucially however, Jack’s results on countback were enough for him to finish above Michael in accordance with the rules outlined at the start of the season and he was confirmed as the last man through into the Galway finals.
So far, Jack has made the most of his opportunity with this win and while he has bagged himself a few extra ranking points, I suspect that he will be more pleased to have won an important match at a venue and have booked himself a last 16 tie with Neil Robertson.
Joining Jack in the next round is another talented young player, China’s Xiao Guodong, after he came through a 4-2 winner against Dominic Dale with a top break of 89. The result is even more impressive given the fact that Xiao recently suffered a broken hand, having reportedly slept awkwardly on it, leading his doctor to inform him that he would not be able to play snooker for three months.
Judging by the scoreline however it did not seem to do him much harm today and he now moves on to a last 16 clash with Judd Trump at the top of the draw.
Elsewhere, Mark Davis posted a strong 4-1 victory against the in-form Tom Ford to set up a tie with Stephen Maguire, while Stephen Lee won by the same scoreline against last season’s runner-up Martin Gould.
The evening session saw both Ricky Walden and Joe Perry come through 4-0 winners against Matthew Stevens and Fergal O’Brien respectively, Ricky in particular impressing with breaks of 131, 130, 95 and 86 to complete victory in little over 50 minutes.
Tomorrow will see the arrival of the television cameras as the likes of John Higgins, Ding Junhui and Neil Robertson get underway in Galway…