Northern Ireland Open 2018 – Draw and Format

Worldsnooker has today published the Draw and Format for the Northern Ireland Open 2018.

Top snooker stars including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams, Mark Selby, John Higgins, Judd Trump and local favourites Mark Allen and Joe Swail are in the line up for next month’s Northern Ireland Open.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

The world ranking event runs from November 12 to 18 at the Belfast Waterfront. In all there will be 128 players in the field, including 15 of the world’s top 16.

Allen faces China’s Niu Zhuang in the first round on the afternoon of the opening day, Monday November 12. Welshman Williams will be defending the title, having beaten Yan Bingtao 9-8 last year in a dramatic final at the Waterfront. He starts the defence of his title against Alfie Burden at 1pm on the Monday.

O’Sullivan takes on Iran’s Soheil Vahedi at 1pm on Tuesday November 13. World number one Selby plays Anthony Hamilton on the Tuesday afternoon while Judd Trump will be up against Matthew Selt on Tuesday at 7pm.

Ronnie Action

Televised by Eurosport and Quest, it’s the second of the season’s Home Nations series, after last week’s BetVictor English Open. That was won by Stuart Bingham, and if he can go on to win the events in Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff then he will scoop the massive £1 million bonus. The winner of the title in Belfast will bank £70,000 and receive the Alex Higgins Trophy.

As ever, the local support is sure to be behind Antrim’s Allen, the world number 12. Allen enjoyed the best moment of his career earlier this year when he won the Masters, one of snooker’s elite Triple Crown tournaments.

In the past he has struggled to produce his best form in the Northern Ireland Open, losing in the quarter-finals in 2016 and the last 64 in 2017.

“People from Northern Ireland support their own so I would love to give them something to cheer about,” said Allen. “I feel as if I’m playing well, my game is in good shape. I have to keep practising hard and waiting for the results.

“I can’t wait for the tournament. In the past I have put too much pressure on myself to do well there in front of my home crowd. This will be the third year for the event so hopefully I have got used to that feeling and I can cope with it a bit better this time. It would be a great time for my game to come together.”

Good to see Ronnie in it. His first round opponent, Soheil Vahedi, from Iran, is a quick player, playing an extremely open game. There shouldn’t be too many long safety battles in this match!

3 thoughts on “Northern Ireland Open 2018 – Draw and Format

  1. Once again, almost all professionals are present, except for Ding Junhui and Rhys Clark (who both missed the English Open), the suspended players Jamie Jones, Cao Yupeng and Yu Delu (who appear to have been binned), and Martin Gould. Happily there is a return for Basem Eltahhan.

    I always find myself saying “Ronnie’s got a straightforwardd draw until the quarter finals”, but I guess any draw would potentially look easy for Ronnie, if he’s playing decently. I didn’t actually think Ronnie played so well in Crawley, despite the 147. The tables were playing nicely and in those conditions you’d expect Ronnie to score highly.

    What will be interesting is to see how differently Ronnie plays in the CofC and the UK, compared to the Home Nations; whether the smaller tournaments motivate him in the same way.

  2. Interesting to see Ronnie and Mark Selby on the same side of the draw. That doesn’t seem to happen very often, though they wouldn’t meet until the semi-finals.

    We’re really entering the heart of Ronnie’s season now, with the CoC, Northern Ireland, and UK Championships all almost back-to-back-to-back. I think Ronnie would have won the English if the foul controversy hadn’t happened, so I’m optimistic he’ll win at least one of these 3 events…

    • When you’re speaking about Ronnie you will never say 100%
      I’m 100% sure that without the referee’s mistakes he would have win the English Open.
      His game was far away from his best.
      But somehow (unlike 10 yrs ago) HE IS ABLE TO WIN BIG EVENTS with his B or C game!

      And I’m pretty sure that he would have won the semi against Mark Davis!
      I saw the match yesterday. Davis let him some big chances to overturn that match.

      And nobody blame the referees but I REALLY HOPE THAT Mrs. Woollaston WILL NEVER GET big matches (world SF or Final + ranking finals) anymore…
      Also the marker sohuld get his/her lessons too!!!!

      I hope THAT accident will never effect Ronnie and Ronnie’s game anymore!
      It was a bad situation, really bad.

      I’m pretty confident for him.
      Last season he started the season with non ranker final and ranker quarter.
      This season: non ranker victory + ranker semi.
      1 step further.

      I wish all the best for Ronnie at the CoC.
      He lost his last 2 finals there. Would be nice to bounce back with a trophy under his belt.

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