Joe Perry and Xiao Guodong became the first two players to reach the second phase of the new WST Pro Series.
Englishman Perry and China’s Xiao finished first and second respectively out of the eight players in Group M. They will return to Milton Keynes for the second stage in March, with the chance to go through to the final group of the world ranking event which has total prize money of £420,500.
Perry won six of his seven matches; his only defeat a 2-1 reverse against Rod Lawler. In the last match to finish, Perry edged out Xiao 2-1 by clearing from green to black in the deciding frame.
“I didn’t know what to expect, with this format,” said world number 19 Perry. “I just tried to win every game. There are twists and turns all day long, you just have to keep winning to give yourself a chance at the end. I’ll be surprised if all the seeds get through in this first stage.”
Xiao won five of his seven games, having lost 2-1 to Daniel Wells. Matthew Stevens went into the final round of matches with a chance to qualify, having won four of his first six, but a 2-1 defeat against Allan Taylor ended his hopes and he finished third.
Seven centuries were made over the day, Lawler topping the charts with a 140.
The event continues on Tuesday with Kyren Wilson among the octet in Group B. Fans can watch the action live on the Matchroom Live website.
NAME P W L FW FL P Joe Perry 7 6 1 13 6 18 Xiao Guodong 7 5 2 12 4 15 Matthew Stevens 7 4 3 10 6 12 Daniel Wells 7 4 3 9 8 12 Jak Jones 7 3 4 8 9 9 Rod Lawler 7 3 4 7 9 9 Allan Taylor 7 3 4 6 9 9 Haydon Pinhey 7 0 7 0 14 0
Watched a bit of it. After the thrills of the Masters, I really couldn’t get interested.
Haydon Pinhey reached the QF stage at the Q-school event 3. but didn’t win a frame here. Shows you the gap that currently exist between the level of the British young amateurs and the pros, even the lower ranked ones. The guy who beat him in that Q-school match, and qualified for the main tour, Jamie Wilson, hasn’t won a match yet on the main tour, despite his ambition to make Ronnie “eat his words”.
Maybe it’s time to accept that Ronnie is right about the general level of the young British amateurs coming through and to actually do something about it? Starting with a proper secondary tour and going back to less brutal tiered system?