The 2023 Welsh Open Qualifiers were played in Barnsley earlier this week and you will find all the detailed results on snooker.org.
Here are some outcomes that attracted my attention:
- Both Jimmy White and Ken Doherty booked their place in the main event draw. Jimmy whitewashed Craig Steadman and Ken beat Thepchaiya Un-nooh in a decider. Those two definitely deserve to be allowed to continue to play consireing what they brougth to the sport and how hard they still try.
- The two young Belgians also qualified, both with 4-0 victories. Julien Leclercq beat Duane Jones and Ben Mertens bear Barry Pinches. Barry was full of praise for Ben on social media after the match: Ben, he said, is a very talented young player with impeccable manners around the table.
- Of the 11 Chinese players involved, 7 booked their place in the main draw, including Ding, and of the 4 who lost, 2 lost to fellow citizens. That’s a very high success rate and anyone doubting that the biggest reservoir of young snooker talents is in China is in denial. And it’s only to be expected given how much China invests in snooker: it’s taught in schools, they have plenty of academies and a national tour big enough for players to make a living out of it.
- There are always surprising results in qualifiers. Here are those that caught my eyes: Rod Lawler beat Jamie Jones, Mohamed Ibrahim from Pakistan beat Jimmy Robertson and Tom Ford lost to Aaron Hill on the “3 miss rule”. I have no doubts that if Tom was Chinese the usual “brigade” would be up in arms,
Ronnie confirmed that he definitely intends to play in the 2023 6-reds World Championship
The (or one of the) 2023 European Masters is planned to be played in Nuremberg, Germany, end August: