World Championship 2011: Preliminaries Round-Up

While tomorrow sees the World Championship qualifiers really get underway, let’s not forget that there have already been two days of matches played out at the Academy as the field has been narrowed down to 96…

To view the results so far and how the drawsheet has been affected, please click here.

First man through to the first round proper was David Gray who is looking to get some wins under his belt before presumably making an attempt to qualify for tour during this year’s Q School. He was nearly upset in his first match however as David Singh took him all the way to a decider before David eventually came through. He then downed Ali Bassiri 5-0 in his second match to earn a tie with Liu Chuang, one of the stronger players outside of the top 64.

Another familiar face through to the 96 is Sam Baird, a professional last season who has this week defeated Colin Mitchell, Neal Selman and finally Reanne Evans to leave himself four matches away from the Crucible. While he could not survive on the tour last season, Sam was not far away at all and is certainly capable of winning a few more matches here.

Joining him will be Stephen Rowlings, another former professional who lost his place at the end of the 2009/10 season and came through with wins against Philip Minchin, Ian Stark and Jak Jones. While Stephen’s record last season was not as strong as Sam’s, he has made it this far at the loss of just three frames so would appear to be playing well.

Finally, Del Smith is through to a tie against Patrick Wallace following victories against Tony Knowles and Stephen Ormerod yesterday.