The first day at the 2022 Northern Ireland Open qualifiers brought some surprises, the biggest one probably being Mink’s win over Mitchell Mann.
Nutcharut Scores First Professional Win
Women’s World Champion Mink Nutcharut scored her first ever match win on the World Snooker Tour, defeating Mitchell Mann 4-2 in qualifying for the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open.
Thailand’s Nutcharut has already established herself as a superstar of the women’s game. She became the first ever female player to make a verified 147 in 2019 and landed her first world title earlier this year, by beating Wendy Jans 6-5 in the women’s world final.
A scrappy first four frames went the way of 22-year-old Nutcharut this afternoon, as she established a surprise 3-1 lead. World number 71 Mann battled to stay in contention and breaks of 54 and 50 helped him to claw one back. However, Nutcharut produced a gutsy run of 47 at the beginning of the sixth and that was enough to see her through as a 4-2 victor.
Nutcharut will now compete in the final stages at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, which run from October 16th to 23rd. She will face either Ricky Walden or Xiao Guodong.
Welshman Jamie Jones succumbed to a surprise 4-1 loss against Hong Kong’s Andy Lee. However, Jones’ compatriot and tour rookie Dylan Emery scored an impressive 4-1 win over Cao Yupeng.
Ben Woollaston scored a 4-1 win over Ryan Day to secure his place in Belfast, while Stephen Maguire defeated Oliver Brown 4-2 to progress.
Mink now trains at Victoria’s snooker academy, where she plays fellow professionals every day, notably Yan Bingtao. She’s very determined and the way she has improved since the start of the season is really impressive.
Dylan Emery showed his quality again. The match was closer than the scores suggest. It was Dylan however who managed to stay calm and dominate in the key moments. This was the case in frames 3 and 4 in particular.
Not mentioned above …
On Yee Ng was also in action yesterday. She lost by 4-1 to Chen Zifan. In the early stages of that match Chen ruthlessly punished On Yee’s mistakes … as he should, of course. The last two frames were very close. On Yee improved during the match but it was too little, too late.
In other news …
Beresford And Ullah Named English Wild Cards
Callum Beresford and Lewis Ullah have been awarded places in the BetVictor English Open, as the two nominations from the English Partnership For Snooker and Billiards.
The BetVictor Home Nations Series event will run from December 12 to 18 and will be staged at the Brentwood Centre in Essex for the first time.
Beresford, age 21 from Yorkshire, is the current EPSB Under-21 Champion, having beaten Oliver Sykes 8-2 in this year’s final.
Ullah, age 20 from Burnley, finished number one on the EPSB Under-21 Premier Tour rankings last season.
Both players will be included in the field for the event when the draw is made in October.
Igor Figueiredo’s WPBSA membership has lapsed therefore he is no longer a professional player on the World Snooker Tour and has been removed from the world rankings.
Igor moved back to his native Brazil in 2021 and has been unable to compete in the tour since then. We wish him all the best for the future.
It’s a shame but, on the other hand, Igor has a young family and being so far away from them was extremely difficult for him, as it was for his family as well. He only had limited success on the main tour and it probably wasn’t worth all the sacrifices, especially considering that Igor is over 40… not a kid with time on his side.