Welsh Open Qualifiers 2011: Final Round News

Updated Projected Seedings

Final Round time from the Academy in Sheffield and with those all important Crucible seedings up for grabs, there have been a number of significant results already today…

Welsh Open Qualifiers 2011 – Day Four Results:

Martin Gould 3-4 Jack Lisowski
Liang Wenbo 0-4 Dave Harold
Barry Hawkins 4-0 Andy Hicks
Mark Davis 2-4 Dominic Dale
Judd Trump 1-4 Rod Lawler
Marcus Campbell 4-0 Joe Jogia
Marco Fu 4-1 Joe Swail
Stephen Lee 1-4 Rory McLeod
Joe Perry 4-2 Tony Drago
Gerard Greene 4-0 Ian McCulloch
Stuart Bingham 4-0 Paul Davison
Andrew Higginson v Michael Holt
Tom Ford 0-4 Jamie Burnett
Ken Doherty 2-4 Nigel Bond

Click here to see how that affects the draw.

Where else to start but with young Gloucester prodigy Jack Lisowski who booked his place at a second consecutive venue with a narrow victory against Martin Gould this morning.

In a match that certainly lived up to the billing, it was Gould who had the early chances but Lisowski who took it in one-visit with a run of 72. Martin though soon hit back, breaks of 86, 82, 41 and 25 enough to turn the match on its head to lead 2-1.

From there however it was Jack’s turn to respond, a break of 59 bringing him level before a break of 100 put him into the lead at 3-2. Martin soon levelled with a couple of smaller breaks to force a decider but it was to be an early 62 from Lisowski in the decider which was to ultimately prove the decisive.

Another fabulous result against a player who reached the last 16 stage of this event a couple of seasons ago, Jack now goes through to a match at Newport with world number one John Higgins, a real test for the youngster if ever there was one. Snooker has been lacking a few young players in recent times but you can be sure that we will be seeing a lot more of Jack during the coming years.

A tough result for Martin who has been unlucky to lose a few deciding frames during recent seasons but he clearly played well and I would expect him to bounce back soon, indeed he always has from any setbacks so far.

While that match was predictably tight, five of the 11 matches played already have actually resulted in whitewashes, the most impressive coming from Dave Harold who trounced the higher ranked Liang Wenbo to gain a measure of revenge for his 10-3 drubbing at the hands of Liang at the 2009 World Championship qualifiers. For whatever reason Liang has been out of sorts for much of the season, falling to 27th on my latest list and at this rate,  set to fall further once the points from his 2009 Shanghai Masters final are removed. Still, it is a great result for Dave who hit two breaks of 64 as well as a 55 and will now meet Ricky Walden in Newport.

Of the other whitewashes, that of Stuart Bingham against Paul Davison keeps alive his hopes of an automatic spot at the Crucible although Marco Fu’s 4-1 success against Joe Swail means that it is the Masters finalist who currently holds on to that final spot inside the top 16 heading into Newport. Marcus Campbell meanwhile has at the time of writing (eg before Tom’s match against Jamie Burnett), leapt above Tom Ford in the rankings into 32 and could be seeded through to the final qualifying round.

It was a bad day for two players chasing top 16 spots meanwhile as both Stephen Lee and Mark Davis crashed out at the hands of Rory McLeod and Dominic Dale respectively, ensuring that both will have to qualify for the Crucible at the start of next month.

Evening Update

It was a big match for Tom Ford tonight but it proved to be a short one as he lost 4-0 against Scotland’s Jamie Burnett, handicapped by an injured hand as he fell out of the top 32 seedings for Sheffield. Take nothing away from Jamie though, he took full advantage and came close to a maximum break, breaking down on 96 with the three remaining reds all in the open.

I will post again tomorrow exactly who has what to do in Newport as far as the rankings are concerned. It really does add a much needed extra element to this event I feel.