Bailey Allen Hall, Galway - March 14-18
TOURNAMENT DRAW - WATCH LIVE - LIVE SCORES - PHOTOS BY MONIQUE LIMBOS
Betfair PTC Grand Finals 2012 - Day 3
Ronnie O'Sullivan’s large number of Irish fans were left disappointed today when The Rocket withdrew from the tournament. The rocket who was due to face Ricky Walden in tonight’s quarter final contacted World snooker this morning to inform then that he was still suffering the effects of the glandular fever which also forced him to withdraw from the World Open earlier this month. Walden now has a bye to the quarter finals where he will face Stephen Maguire.
Stephen Maguire 4-2 Mark Davis
Scotland's Stephen Maguire fought back form a slow start to beat Mark Davis 4-2 and book his place in the quarter-finals.
Maguire who has enjoyed a resurgence in form of late which saw him reach the final of the German Masters trailed 2-0 and 51-13 in the next before rallying to clinch it on the colours. Breaks of 54 and 59 saw him make it 3-2 and although Davis had a chance to level at 3-3 he missed a slow roll green to the centre pocket with the scores at 53-40 and Maguire finished the job.
“At 2-0 down I was fearing the worst, but I fought back well which was pleasing," said Maguire winner of PTC 12 "It could have gone 3-3 and then it would have been a flip of coin but Mark missed the green, I’m not sure if he had a kick.”
Mark Selby 4-1 Ding Junhui
Mark Selby gained a small measure of revenge over Ding Junhui for his defeat in last months Welsh Open final with a 4-1 victory in today’s last 16 encounter.
In a match of high quality Ding won the first with a break of 75 before Selby hit back with breaks of 77 and 88. The fourth was a far more scrappy affair with Selby again coming out on top before sealing victory with a run of 98.
“I knew it would be tough because Ding is a class act, but I played well and punished his mistakes. It’s a good crowd here and I hope I can get to the latter stages and see full houses.”
Selby who has seen his willingness to fully embrace the punishing schedule of the new era rewarded with becoming world no.1 will now play Stephen Lee in the quarter finals tomorrow.
Xiao Guodong - Photos courtesy of Monique Limbos
Xiao Guodong 4-2 Judd Trump
“Maybe I should break something before every tournament “ was the response of Xiao Guodong who is defying doctors orders by playing snooker with a broken hand reached his first professional quarter final with a fine 4-2 victory over UK champion Judd Trump.
Xiao who beat Dominic Dale in the first round soared into a 3-1 lead with breaks of 100 and 66 before Trump clawed one back to make it 3-2. In and exciting sixth frame Xaio lead 67-0 with 5 reds remaining only for Judd to show his battling qualities and force his way back into the frame. A snooker on the last red left Judd a chance to force a decider but he missed a thin cut on the black and following a short safety exchange Xiao clipped in the black for victory.
"I've been playing (as a professional) for five years and this will be my first quarter-final," said an understandably excited Xiao. "I'm surprised because it has happened now when I am playing with a broken hand.”.
“Judd didn’t play as well as he can today but he is a very good player so it was still hard to win. I tried not to think about the money or ranking points, I just wanted to win the match. I will try to think the same way in my next match”said Xiao who now faces Andrew Higginson in the Quarters on Saturday evening.
Andrew Higginson 4-3 Jamie Jones
Andrew Higginson and Jamie Jones did their best to make the large crowd forget about the late withdrawal of Ronnie O Sullivan as they served up a classic in the last of the second round matches on Friday evening
Jones seemed to be suffering a hangover from his dramatic victory over John Higgins yesterday as Higginson took a 2-0 lead which included a 120 in the second frame. Jones eventually found his rhythm in the next with a run of 87 and took advantage of a few mistakes from Higginson to level at 2-2.
Higginson found his range again in the next with 73 and seemed set for victory on the fourth but missed an easy red on 58 when only a couple of pots from victory, Jones came back with a 54 before wobbling the final black with the rest. However he got another chance with his next shot and slammed in a super pot to force the decider.
Higginson would not be denied though as he made the best of his first scoring opportunity to win with a 95 break.
“I thought I’d won the match at 4-2 then I just took my eye off the red” said Higginson who not only won PTC 5 but was the only player to score points in every PTC this season. ”He potted a great black and then I thought I’d blown it. I had to put it out of my mind quickly and I made a really good break”
This was Higginson’s first victory since he surrendered a 4-0 against the eventual tournament victor Ronnie O'Sullivan in the German Masters. "I was unlucky to lose that match against Ronnie in Berlin and I took a lot of positives out of it because I handled myself well in front of a big crowd. Since then I've lost a couple of matches so it's good to get back on track."
With only one match in the evening session the night finished with a hastily arranged exhibition involving Fergal O'Brien, Ken Doherty and Irish TV and Radio star Hector which the crowd enjoyed.
Saturday sees the four quarter finals taking place and if the last three days are anything to go by the large crowds will be served up a feast of top quality snooker.
Match reports courtesy of Daniel Clarke.