PTC Grand Finals 2013 - Northern Irish duo of Allen & Swail through in Galway
Book tickets - Photos from Monique Limbos - Results
The Dafabet PTC Grand Finals is the season-end conclusion of the Players Tour Championship events held around the world. This year sees an increase in the field to 32 players and a raise in the prize money, with the winner set to take home a £100,000 first prize.
I am at the Bailey Allen Hall in Galway all this week to do work experience with World Snooker, this includes the interviewing, filming and editing of the post-match player interviews. Check them out on the links following the match reports.
First up today it was the match between Martin Gould and Tom Ford. Gould had recently won the one-frame Snooker Shoot Out, but has struggled for form in the ranking events.
Despite being stuck at Gatwick Airport for 9 hours yesterday due to snow delays, Londoner Gould got off to the perfect start, making a classy 100 break in the first frame. He also had a great chance to take the second but missed frame ball after breaking down on 51.
From then onwards it seemed that the former Power Snooker champion had lost his edge and looked and two-times PTC winner Ford made top breaks of 80 and 66 to win three of the next four and book himself a place in the last 16, a 4-2 winner.
Watch Tom Ford's post-match interview here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OrzTcxgkfc
It was the turn of Australian Open champion Barry Hawkins next at the Bailey Allen Hall. He faced Chinese amateur Li Hang, who qualified as the runner-up in the third Asian PTC event.
Hawkins also got off to a brilliant start, by rolling in a smooth 100 break in the first frame. He got the better of Hang in the safety department to win the next two, more scrappier frames, before concluding his 4-0 victory with a break of 80. Like with Gould he also got delayed at Gatwick yesterday but in the end he was pleased to get through.
Watch Barry Hawkins's post-match interview here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvzve6PzCog
There has been eight different winners of the eight ranking events this season and surprisingly, Neil Robertson isn't one of them. The out-of-form 2010 World Champion took on Jamie Burnett in the third match of the day.
The Scot took the first, scrappy frame with two small contributions, before nicking the next one after Robertson missed with the rest to go 2-0 clear.
Robertson appeared in the final here last year and looked to be heading home early, but he managed to sneak the third with a 46 break, before finally finding some fluency in the 4th with a run of 82 to level the match.
He went on to win another scrappy frame before potting blue-black to force a re spotted black. Burnett made a safety error, leaving Robertson a simple pot to win the match 4-2. He faces Barry Hawkins in the last 16 on Friday.
Watch Neil Robertson's post-match interview here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqXqiCRV810
Stephen Maguire ended his long-running ranking title last month at the Welsh Open and looked to be coming back in to form towards the end of the season.
He faced Northern Ireland's Joe Swail, who as a recently demoted amateur reached the final of the Paul Hunter Classic PTC in Germany to qualify for this event.
Maguire was on-fire in the first three frames, knocking in breaks of 89, 56 and 52 to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
From then on, Maguire just couldn't get over the line as Swail nicked the next two on the colours, and then made a break of 69 in the 6th to force the decider.
Both had chances in the last frame but two small contrubutions from Swail were enough to see him through a thrilled 4-3 winner.
Watch Joe Swail's post-match interview here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz0nFoSm2yE
Swail will face fellow countryman and best friend Mark Allen in the last 16 after the Antrim man made a routine 4-0 victory over an under-performing Mark Davis.
Recent Haikou World Open champion Allen got off to a great start, with a 67 break to win the first frame.
After winning the next, scrappier frame he then nicked the 3rd on the black to go 3-0 up. He then faced another tight frame in the next, before eventually falling over the line in a comfortable style.
Watch Mark Allen's post-match interview here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iee15-HJYEE
And just past midnight, Jack Lisowski recorded one of the biggest wins of his career so far, beating UK & Masters champion Mark Selby 4-3.
Throughout the match, frames were shared equally as neither player could take a clear advantage. Lisowski had runs of 96 and 65 and Selby made breaks of 76 and a 63 in the 6th to force the decider.
Both players at this point looked fatigued and missed several chances. When they got down to the colours it was Lisowski that managed to string a few pots together and seal the match, to his delight. He plays Tom Ford in the second round, hard to call that one.
Watch Jack Lisowski's post match interview here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUXFV-UG7mg