Australian Goldfields Open 2012: Qualifying Wrap

While I have this week suffered from one or two technical issues on the blog, the Australian Goldfields Open qualifiers have continued through to their conclusion yesterday and as ever there have been a number of interesting results along the way, particularly with a number of players seeded higher than they are accustomed to. Click below for a round-up…

  • Click here to view the updated drawsheet
  • Click here to view the latest projected seedings (subject to confirmation of points to be deducted at cut-off one)

When I think of the 2011 Australian Goldfields Open tournament, it was of course most memorable for the successful run of Stuart Bingham to his maiden ranking event title, but it was also notable for the breakthrough of eventual quarter-finalist Matt Selt, who defeated Scottish legends John Higgins and Stephen Hendry in the event.

This week Matt has ensured that he will be returning to Bendigo in 2012 courtesy of victories against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Crucible quarter-finalist Jamie Jones, who on Twitter noted after the match that it was not the start to the season that he had been looking for, having previously lost his qualifier for the Wuxi Classic also. He took nothing away from Matt though and having been ranked up inside the top 48 for over a year now, Selt will now meet defending champion Bingham as he bids to move closer to a top 32 spot.

Another player who is making good progress up the rankings is China’s Xiao Guodong and he too was able to qualify for the venue stages with victories against Kurt Maflin and Fergal O’Brien in Sheffield this week. His clash with Maflin marked their third meeting in ranking event competition and as was the case in their previous two, Xiao was able to come through a tight encounter in a deciding frame. Having followed that up with victory against O’Brien, Xiao will now meet Barry Hawkins in Bendigo.

Having made an early exit from the Wuxi Classic, Mark Allen’s Crucible conqueror Cao Yupeng again made it through to a venue with victories against Paul Davison, Alfie Burden and Mike Dunn, as well as a walkover against Anthony Hamilton who has suffered from neck problems in the past.

Another youngster through was Jack Lisowski, who took full advantage of being seeded through to the final qualifying round of a full ranking event for the first time with a 5-2 victory against Dave Harold yesterday. He will now meet veteran Mark Davis in the last 32, Mark another player to benefit from the non-entry of players ranked above him.

Elsewhere, Ken Doherty was able to make it two venues from two for the new season with a 5-0 victory against amateur Michael Wild, after he had himself seen off six-time world champion Steve Davis by the same scoreline in the previous round. Another legend, Jimmy White, was not even to make it that far as he withdrew from the tournament, handing Liam Highfield a bye to the final qualifying round where he lost out to Michael Holt, who has regularly made it through to venues so far in 2012.

One man who has not been a regular at venues in recent times is Scotland’s Alan McManus, but he bucked that trend this week with wins against Tony Drago and Robert Milkins to get important ranking points on the board and book his flight to Australia. Nigel Bond is another who has not won too often of late, but also won two matches to qualify and set up a clash with home favourite Neil Robertson.

The week was also to see further strong runs for Rod Lawler and Barry Pinches after their respective struggles in 2011/12, Rod winning another two matches before his recent winning streak was brought to an end by Gerard Greene, while Barry made it through to the final round before losing a lengthy encounter with Rory McLeod 5-0.

Next stop, APTC1…