Shanghai Masters Qualifiers 2012: Day One Review

Barely a couple of days after the conclusion of the UKPTC1 event in Gloucester, the snooker circus returned to Sheffield today for the first round of the Shanghai Masters qualifiers at the EIS…

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Before turning to the results, a note to explain that I will not be adding the points earned this week to the latest projected seedings list, as these will not count until the second mid-season seedings revision which comes some time after the venue stages of the event in Shanghai. The only points to be added between now and the first cut-off point will be those earned at the PTC2 event held in Gloucester next month.

Having missed out on a chance to compete at the first two full-ranking events of the season, Scottish youngster Scott Donaldson began his second professional tournament after last weekend’s UKPTC1 event with a 5-4 victory against China’s Chen Zhe this morning. Last week was the first time that I had been able to see Scott in action and having also spoken to him during the tournament (interview to follow in due course), I was impressed with what I saw. Like fellow Scot Anthony McGill, he seems to have a good attitude and it will be interesting to see how he fares against another Chinese player tomorrow in the form of Yu Delu.

Speaking of Liam Highfield, he too was a winner today, 5-3 against Mighty Mouse Zhang Anda as he bids to accumulate some points early in the season and make it to the venue stages of a full-ranking event for the first time in his career. Next up for him is Thai player Passakorn Suwannawat in what will be the first meeting between the two.

Elsewhere, the likes of Cao Yupeng, Aditya Mehta and Luca Brecel continued their encouraging starts to the new season with wins against Paul Davison and Craig Steadman, while Rod Lawler earned his tenth victory of 2012/13 with a 5-0 win against Welsh amateur Gareth Allen.

There was also joy for Malta’s Tony Drago, as the tour veteran emerged as a 5-4 winner against fellow On Q player Jamie O’Neill this morning to set up a tie with rising Welsh star Michael White tomorrow. After a tough season last year, Tony has won at least one match in each of the three full-ranking event tournaments so far this term to get some important ranking points on the board.

It was a surprise however to see Sam Baird exit at the hands of Ben Judge, in a match that he was widely expected to win. Full credit to the Australian however as Ben now moves on to a match with Alfie Burden tomorrow.

The action continues tomorrow from 10am…