World number one Judd Trump will start the defence of his 19.com Northern Ireland Open title against James ‘Giant-Killer’ Cahill next week in Belfast.
The draw for the first round of the tournament has been made, with a 129 players in action over the first two days on Monday November 11 and Tuesday November 12 at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Trump beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-7 in last year’s final and has since won five other tournaments including the World Championship and last week’s World Open, establishing himself as the best player on the planet.
But he faces a tough opening task in Belfast against Cahill, who has a reputation for beating top players. The world number 113 knocked O’Sullivan out of the World Championship earlier this year and has also beaten the likes of Mark Selby, Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson and John Higgins.
That match will take place on Tuesday at 1pm.
Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan has drawn Oliver Lines, with that match to take place either on Monday at 7pm or Tuesday at 7pm. The full format will be confirmed by this Friday, following the conclusion of this week’s group stages of the Champion of Champions tournament.
Mark Selby won last month’s 19.com English Open so he is the only player who can win the £1 million bonus available for capturing all four Home Nations titles. He will be up against China’s Xu Si on either Monday afternoon or Tuesday afternoon.
Northern Irish wild cards Patrick Wallace and Robbie McGuigian will go head to head in a preliminary round match on Monday at 7pm.
Other top stars in action over the first two days include John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy and Jimmy White.
The tournament runs from November 11 to 17 with a top prize of £70,000 up for grabs. It will be televised on Eurosport and Quest.
Regarding Ronnie’s draw, Louis Heathcote is a dangerous player. I really hope that Ronnie doesn’t take him for granted because over a brest of seven, he’s more than capable to cause an upset. Ronnie has never played him as he is in his first year on the main tour. And Zhou yuelong could possibly waiting in round three.
Unless I didn’t read properly … Mark Williams hasn’t entered.