UK Championship Qualifiers 2011
South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester - 6th-9th October
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DRAW & RESULTS
ALL PHOTOS FROM THE FINAL ROUND
Tom Ford was the first player through today, an impressive 6-0 win over up and coming Chinese talent Xiao Guodong. Xiao was tipped by many to beat Ford in this match and already had won two matches against Adam Wicheard and a commanding 6-0 win over Mike Dunn, but Tom was too strong for him and came out on top in just over an hour. Having qualified for the Crucible and winning a PTC last year seems to have inspired Tom and he has been progressing up the rankings steadily and is closing down on the top 16. He will face Neil Robertson at the Barbican Centre, could be a tough test for the Australian.
Mark Davis from Sussex was the second player through in the afternoon, a strong 6-2 win over fellow On Q Promotions player Michael White who had beaten Liang Wenbo in the previous round. The Six Reds World Champion narrowly missed out on a top 16 spot in recent months but was impressive in his victory over the Welsh star which included a 122 break. Mark will face Masters champion Ding Junhui at the televised stages.
Rory McLeod was the first of the players to make it through that had won multiple matches to qualify. He was a 6-2 winner over Barry Hawkins which included a top break of 110 from Rory. Also unlike Rory his match was one of the first matches to finish as Barry didn't seem to find any momentum against him. Rory will play the defending UK Champion John Higgins which is a repeat of their second round Crucible clash earlier in the year, could be a potential banana skin for John.
Steve Davis the six-times world champion and BBC Snooker presenter was the fourth player through to York in the afternoon. He recorded a great 6-2 victory over PTC5 champion and former Welsh Open finalist Andrew Higginson. Steve recently lost in the finals of the World Seniors Championship but managed to shrug that off and performed well to beat Ian McCulloch 6-2 yesterday and another victory today. He has a most mouth watering clash in York with Ronnie O'Sullivan, will be hard to get tickets for that one I think!
Stephen Hendry had dropped out the top 16 recently meaning that he had to qualify for the first time in 22 years. He managed to do that today with a 6-2 win over Gerard Greene in the arena. It wasn't a particularly strong performance by the seven-times world champion but he did enough in the end to beat Gerard, even with the Northern Irishman making a 104 break and playing well in patches. Hendry has a clash with fellow Scot and namesake Stephen Maguire in York, tough one to call that.
Matthew Selt followed shortly after Hendry with a 6-4 win over fellow Essex player Mark King. Matthew already recorded a strong 6-3 performance against China's Cao Yupeng in the previous round and joined Rory McLeod becoming a player to qualify for York having won two or more matches. Matthew beat John Higgins and Stephen Hendry in the recent Australian Goldfields Open and has looked strong since. He will face Graeme Dott in the last 32.
Dominic Dale was the seventh player to qualify, he was a 6-2 winner over Shoot-Out champion Nigel Bond. After qualifying for the Crucible and reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open he has been rising up the rankings and is targeting a top 16 place in the next few months. The popular Welsh player will face Judd Trump in York, should be a very entertaining match either way.
Marcus Campbell was the last player through in the afternoon. The Scot was a 6-4 winner over PTC3 champion Ben Woollaston who had already came through two matches himself. Marcus has been steadily rising up the rankings in the past few years and will be feeling confident going in to the UK championship in York. He faces Matthew Stevens in the last 32.
Ryan Day became the first player in the evening session to qualify for the Barbican Centre. Ryan beat Jamie Burnett 6-0 who had himself beaten Tony Drago 6-3 in the previous round. It took Ryan just over an hour to beat Burnett with some fearsome potting including a 127 from the Welsh star. Ryan dropped out the top 16 late last year and has been on the comeback trail ever since but this is definitely a step in the right direction. He has a tough draw in York though, a first round clash with the world no.1 Mark Selby.
Ricky Walden was the next man through tonight, a solid 6-2 victory over Wales' Jamie Jones. Jamie had a great 6-5 win over Jimmy White in the previous round but found 'Stamina Man' Ricky too tough tonight. Ricky knocked in a top break of 108 on his way to the win and will face Stephen Lee in York. Ricky had a bad season last year and failed to win many matches in ranking events, but he has had a strong first half of this season and it will be tough to call a winner between the two.
Li Yan was the surprise qualifier of the day. The Chinese youngster had joined the pro tour this year through the Q School and now will make his first televised debut with a brilliant 6-2 win over Ireland's Fergal O'Brien which included a top run of 121. Li beat Stuart Carrington, Andy Hicks and an impressive 6-2 win over Jack Lisowski. Li is rewarded with a last 32 clash with Shaun Murphy at York. Judging by how calm and cooly he played here he might give the Magician a run for his money, but playing under the television conditions is a different kettle of fish, but either way it will be an interesting match to watch.
Joe Jogia has been on the tour since 1994 and has reached the last 32 of a few venues before but reaching the last 32 of the UK Championship is probably the biggest of his long career. Joe narrowly came through his match against Anthony McGill in the third round 6-5, but today he recorded a 6-3 win over a struggling Jamie Cope to make it through. He will have a tough challenge in the form of Mark Williams in York, possibly a bridge to far for Joe? The reduced format could definitely help him.
Robert Milkins was the last of the On Q Promotions players through to York. The Gloucester favourite produced an impressive 6-3 win over former world champion Peter Ebdon who looked frustrated throughout the match. Rob came through 6-5 against David Gilbert yesterday and had a top run of 110 against Peter today so two strong performances from him to qualify. He will face Ali Carter in the last 32, could be a close match.
Adrian Gunnell a pro since 1994 had not qualified for a ranking venue for the whole of the last season and saw himself slipping down the rankings but today he shocked the favourite Joe Perry 6-4 to reach the televised stages in York. You would be brave to bet on him winning his next match though, he faces Mark Allen in the last 32, could be a very difficult prospect for the player from Telford.
Peter Lines reached the quarter finals of the UK Championship in Telford in 2009 but since then has not progressed often in the rankers. Today he is on the the trail to equalling or even beating that achievement again by beating Ken Doherty 6-5 on the colours in a past midnight finish. Ken was 5-3 ahead at a point and only needed the one frame for victory but in a scrappy deciding frame Peter came out on top to beat the Irishman with some great safety play. Peter faces Martin Gould in York, and the way he has played in this tournament you wouldn't rule out the player from Leeds to beat the Pinner Potter.
Marco Fu was the last player through to the last 32 in York. Marco has been struggling for form recently and sees himself in the low 32's in the rankings, but he recorded an impressive 6-5 victory over Anthony Hamilton from 3-0 down. Anthony made 55 in the decider but Marco cooly cleared up to and including the final black from distance to win the match. Marco will play Stuart Bingham at the Barbican Centre, tough one to call that.
ALL PHOTOS FROM FINAL ROUND