The qualifying competition for the British Open continues on Tuesday when another 16 players head to the Morningside Arena in Leicester looking for the one win which will take them into the main draw in Cheltenham next month.
The top 16 players have all had their qualifier held over to the main venue so it is those chasing that level that are on show here. We saw some competitive snooker over the course of Monday and much more of the same is expected on Tuesday.
As is so often the case in these qualifying competitions, Chinese players come to the fore in the morning session with two of them on show across the two tables. Zhou Yuelong is the highest ranked player on show across the morning and he will take on Hammad Miah in one of the matches. The other table will be occupied by Pang Junxu and he will go up against the more established Robbie Williams, who made the semi-final of this event a year ago.
Early Afternoon Session
Ricky Walden is the highest ranked player on show throughout the four sessions on Tuesday and he will play his qualifying match in the first of the two afternoon slots. Walden will take on another Chinese player in the form of Xu Si. Over on the other table at the same time, there is an opportunity for two of the lower ranked players in the field to make progress when Oliver Brown looks for a place in the main draw at the expense of Himanshu Jain.
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Later Afternoon Session
Dominic Dale is still offering up the goods from time to time and he will hope he has some good form with him in the second of the afternoon sessions on Tuesday. Dale will take on the woefully short of form Mark Joyce in what could be a tense encounter. Oliver Lines hasn’t started the season quite as well as he would have liked but he does look to have a much kinder draw on the other table in this session. He meets one of the new boys on tour in the shape of Liam Pullen.
Scott Donaldson has been quite open about the health problems he is experiencing at the minute but he has the chance to put those behind him and qualify for a second straight main draw having progressed in the European Masters. Adam Duffy is the man standing in his way. Donaldson took care of David Grace to make it through to Germany and the beaten man in that match will aim to make up for that on the other table. He faces Jenson Kendrick, who lost out to Reanne Evans in European Masters qualifying and will be looking for much better fortunes here.
I mentioned in the European Masters qualifying how poor the form has been for Mark Joyce over the course of 2023 and he did nothing in his defeat to Sanderson Lam in that event to suggest he is getting closer to turning things around. He lost 5-3 in that match and just isn’t scoring very well and I regularly say that in these sprints you have to be the scorer because you just have too much to do if you don’t score.
Dominic Dale has made a good start to the season despite all his consistency struggles of the last couple of years. It might be that his close scrape with falling off the tour has sparked him into life and he wants to ensure he doesn’t come that close again. He beat Anthony McGill in European Masters qualifying and knocked in a ton in that encounter so he is starting to score well again. Dale knows his way around the table and brings much better form in with him. I think he’s the pick here.
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