Bendigo Stadium - 9-15 July
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With the non-entries of top Scot's John Higgins, Stephen Maguire and Graeme Dott from this year's Australian Goldfields Open, it left the door wide open for those lower down the ranks to step up and get their moment on the big occasion.
One such Scot was Jamie Burnett who today followed up on his win over Neil Robertson in the Wuxi classic by beating the world no.1 Mark Selby 5-3 in their first round match in Bendigo.
Former Shanghai Masters finalist Burnett went 3-1 up with a top run of 69. Selby reduced the deficit to 4-3 behind with the help of a 83 in the fifth but in the end it was too late as Burnett closed off the match with a 61 break.
"It's a very big win," said Burnett. "Any win over the number one player in the world is a good win. Whether you play well or not, it is important to get the win over these guys if they don't play at their best which they normally do."
"In my next match I have Marco Fu who is another very tough player. I watched Marco's last game and I thought he played fantastic, he scored well and his safety was great so I'm going to have to play well in that one also."
On the other side it was a much more comfortable victory for the Welsh Open champion Ding Junhui who whitewashed another Scot, Alan McManus 5-0 with top runs of 53, 68, 113 and 76 to set up an interesting second round tie with former practice partner Peter Ebdon tomorrow.
The remaining first round matches of the tournament saw wins for both seeded players as Martin Gould fought off a bout of food poisoning to go from 3-3 and make breaks of 70 & 72 to beat Ken Doherty and Barry Hawkins eased through 5-1 against Xiao Guodong.
The evening session saw the first bunch of last 16 matches begin and the first to finish was the 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy. His opponent Leicester's Tom Ford won the first frame with a 50 break but from then on it was all one way traffic as top runs of 80 & 95 from the Magician gave him a comfortable 5-1 victory.
"I knew all I was missing was a little bit of confidence and it's amazing what that first round win can do for you," said Murphy. "Today I went out there knowing I could win and I was pleased with how I played. I've been practising hard and I knew that my game was in good shape and I'm pleased that it came together."
"I'm up against either Peter or Ding next. It'll be an interesting match that because when Ding first came to England he practised with Peter for many years. Peter's been playing very well the last few months so I'm not sure Ding will have it all his own way."
PTC Finals champion Stephen Lee will be joining his fellow Englishman in the quarter-finals after making top breaks of 71 and 126 on the way to 5-2 victory over Stoke's Jamie Cope. Lee will play Burnett or Marco Fu next.
Australian Goldfields Open - Day Three Results
Ding Junhui 5-0 Alan McManus
Barry Hawkins 5-1 Xiao Guodong
Mark Selby 3-5 Jamie Burnett
Martin Gould 5-3 Ken Doherty
R.2 Shaun Murphy 5-1 Tom Ford
R.2 Stephen Lee 5-2 Jamie Cope