The Scottish Open 2017 is about to start in less than an hour, in John Higgins backyard … well, very near to it anyway. Mark Selby’s only contribution will be to be in the poster as he’s not entered it.
There have been withdrawals too: Luca Brecel withdrew for medical reasons, still suffering from his shoulder injury and Jackson Page replaces him in the draw. Mark Williams also withdrew: his wife, Jo, is still in hospital in a serious condition and he has decided to stay at her side for as long as it takes for her to be well enough to get back home safely. This is totally understandable and the right thing to do. Mark also casted doubts about his participation in the German Masters qualifiers. Mark withdrew too close to the start of the tournament to be replaced and as a result Xu Si gets a walkover.
Both Ronnie and Shaun are due to play tomorrow.
Ronnie said yesterday, after his UK triumph, that he had given it all and that he had nothing left. He also said that he was looking forward to a bit of punditry.
I wouldn’t expect anything from him this week in Scotland. Having made it to 5 finals this season, winning three ranking titles over two conto-inents in the last seven weeks he must be absolutely knackered.
So here we go again …