Bailey Allen Hall, Galway - March 14-18
TOURNAMENT DRAW - WATCH LIVE - LIVE SCORES - PHOTOS BY MONIQUE LIMBOS
Betfair PTC Grand Finals 2012 - Day 2
Ding Junhui 4-2 Ben Woollaston
Ding Junhui who has had a mixed start to 2012 produced a solid display to ease past PTC 3 winner Ben Woollaston. Ding who has seen his Welsh Open final victory sandwiched on either side by first round exits in the German Masters and World Open produced breaks of 103 and 125 in racing to a 3-0 lead. Woollaston briefly rallied to reduce the gap to 3-2 before Ding held his nerve to seal victory with a 98.
“I’m happy, I concentrated and didn't feel nervous," said 24-year-old Ding. "From 3-0 I missed some chances and my positional play was not good. At 3-2 I knew I had to take my next chance, and I did that.“ Ding now faces Mark Selby, the man he beat 9-6 to lift the Welsh Open crown in the last 16 on Friday.
Jamie Jones 4-3 John Higgins
Jamie Jones recorded the greatest victory of his career so far by fighting back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the reigning world champion John Higgins 4-3 in one of the biggest shocks of the season.
Jones who at the age of 24 is beginning to show the ability on the table that has many in the know touting him as one of the games rising stars had been maybe a bit unlucky to find himself trailing 3-1. But the Welshman showed gritty determination in fighting back to win the decider with a well held 65 break. Jones will now play Widnes' Andrew Higginson on Friday for a place in the quarter finals.
“To beat John in a TV match is fantastic” said Jones. “Even though he didn't play well. I was very surprised at the balls he missed. He is so good tactically, but he never got into any rhythm. In the frames I won I was quicker and more fluent, but he seemed flat. I thought he was getting away from so I just tried to hang in there. Once I got back to 3-3 I knew I had a chance and when I got the chance I took it.”
The result is another blow to Higgins who has struggled to produce form this season anywhere near the level he produced in clinching his 4th World title last year. With a month now to go to before he returns to the Crucible to try and defend his title he will be surely hoping for a good run in the China Open to belatedly kick start his season.
Stephen Lee 4-1 Michael Holt
Stephen Lee kept his fine recent run of form going and became the first man through to the Quarter finals with a straight forward 4-1 victory over Michael Holt.
Lee playing with a stiff neck never reached the heights of his first round victory over Martin Gould but still played a solid standard of snooker the highlight of which was a 58 clearance in the forth to nick it from Holt who had earlier broken down on 62. Lee now has a days rest as he awaits the winner of Fridays clash between Mark Selby and Ding Junhui.
The clearance in the fourth frame was the key moment, the chance was there and I had to take it," said Lee. "I didn't sleep well last night and woke up with a sore neck, and didn't feel right today. But I played ok in patches and I'm enjoying it.”
Neil Robertson 4-1 Jack Lisowski
Masters champion Neil Robertson booked his place in the quarter finals with an easy victory over young up and coming talent jack Lisowski.
It was a match which never lived up to its potential as both players struggled to produce any fluency, indeed following a close first frame Robertson stretched his lead to 3-0 with a high break of just 43. Lisowski did manage to pull one back but a 56 break in the fifth secured victory for Australia’s Robertson.
I started well in each frame but got to 30 or 40 then made a mistake," said Robertson, a winner of two PTC events this season "The first couple of frames could have gone either way and I had a bit of luck. I wasn't convincing so it was just a case of doing whatever I had to do to win.
Joe Perry 4-2 Graeme Dott
Joe Perry saw some of the form that took him to two PTC finals this season with a strong 4-2 win over Graeme Dott. Top breaks of 50, 84 and 67 were enough to see the Cambridge potter through to set up a match with practice partner Neil Robertson in the quarter-finals.
"It will be a big game against Neil because we're playing for a lot of money and I'm still searching for my first big title. Neil and I are good friends and one match isn't going to change that, although we won't speak about the match tomorrow. I know what he's got and I know I'll have to play exceptionally well to beat him."
Friday’s action brings a conclusion to the second round with Stephen Maguire v Mark Davis, Mark Selby v Ding Jinhui and Judd Trump v Xiao Guodong in the early session and Andrew Higginson v Jamie Jones in the evening.
Ronnie O'Sullivan has withdrawn from the event due to his reoccurring battle with glandular fever and his opponent Ricky Walden has a bye to the quarter-finals.
Match reports courtesy of Daniel Clarke.