Article by Jared Martin
So the World Snooker Championships have come and gone and already the new era of snooker under Chairman Barry Hearn is getting ready for the start of the new 2015/2016 season.
The first stop on the 25+ event calendar season takes place in the little country known as Australia, The Australian Goldfields Open. A tournament which first made it's debut in 2011. There were rumours that the tournament was going to be cut from the tour two years ago due to lack of support from the top players and less than stellar viewing figures. However fortunately that hasn’t turned out to be the case and this year the tournament is back again and looks to have been supported very well by many of snookers biggest stars.
Despite absences from the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams and 2012 winner Barry Hawkins, there is plenty of snooker talent and big names on display to impress spectators in the land down under. Newly crowned World Champion Stuart Bingham, defending champion Judd Trump, current Masters Champion Shaun Murphy, four times World Champion John Higgins and local boy and 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson will all be in attendance.
The tournament runs between the June 29th to July 5th 2015 at the Bendigo Stadium. However before the main event, there is the small matter of 128 players competing for their plane ticket, a chance to witness some sunshine and a place in the last 32 at the venue in Australia.
Qualifiers take place at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley and runs between the 1st and 5th of June. Tickets are free for all spectators so it’s a fantastic opportunity to see some young up and coming talent in the game and get your betting promo codes.
With the Q school coming to an end last week, the tour welcomes eight new players: Sydney Wilson, Rhys Clark, Daniel Wells, Eden Sharav, Gareth Allen, Duane Jones, Jason Weston and Paul S Davison who have all earned themselves a two year tour card. Here’s hoping they settle into the tour quickly and have succesful seasons.
Amongst all the new fresh talent flocking into Crawley is 20 year old Luca Brecel who had a breakthrough tournament last season at the Welsh Open getting all the way to the semi-finals. Old familiar faces will also be present hoping to hold back the tide and recapture former glory such as: 1992 UK Champion Jimmy White, 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty, 2002 World Champion Peter Ebdon and 1996 British open champion Nigel Bond.
Furthermore the final round of qualifiers will feature the likes of the Pinner Potter Martin Gould, former two times ranking final winner Dominic Dale and 2013 German Masters champion Ali Carter, back from his triumphant battle with lung cancer which kept him off the tour for much of last season. I just want to say that it’s fantastic to have Ali back on the tour and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season. I have no doubt that he will be back inside the top 16 before long, where he belongs.
So there you have it folks! If you are around next week or feel like skiving off work for a few days, why not travel down to the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley, England, to watch all this fantastic snooker, fresh talent and past champions in action. Best of all, it’s all completely FREE!
Click here to see the draw and results from the Australian Goldfields Open 2015 qualifiers.