2008 Royal London Watches Grand Prix: Qualifying Draw

The qualifying draw for the 2008 Grand Prix has today been made available and be viewed here. As usual the matches will be held at Pontin’s, Prestatyn from the September 22-25 and the winners will then be drawn at random against the top 16 players for round 1 of the TV stages.

Jimmy’s Path

Unbeaten at Pontin’s so far this season, Jimmy White has been paired with reigning IBSF World U-21 champion and snooker ‘hotshot’ Michael Georgiou in round 1. Having lost his first two matches of the season Georgiou will be hoping for better against White, though given the Whirlwind’s current form it won’t be easy. Indeed there is nothing easy about this section of the draw with the winner facing David Gray in the next round, with Michael Holt and finally Michael Judge awaiting further down the line should they win that match. If Jimmy wants to reach the TV stages of a third straight event therefore then he will have to play at his very best once again.

Tie of the Round

At the very bottom of the draw in what is on paper the most intriguing match of the first round are the experienced Matthew Couch and promising Geordie youngster Stephen Craigie. Having both made the third round in the Shanghai qualifiers last week, both will be confident and it should be a close tussle between players with 16 years between them. If Craigie can prevail against someone with so much experience however, it will provide further evidence that he is the real deal as well as the reward of a match with the in-form Mark Davis in round 2.