Xiao Guodong ended David Morris’ hopes of qualifying for the Welsh Open after a 4-2 victory in a mixed day for the Chinese contingent.
In a high quality affair, Xiao overcame the Irishman 4-2 with two centuries of 120 and 104 – Morris himself compiled a nice 112 ton.
The Chinese 22 year-old has shown the most potential recently in emulating compatriot Ding Junhui’s impact on the professional circuit following the surprising demise of Liang Wenbo.
Liang, of course, is young himself and could yet return to the form that saw him reach the quarter finals of the World Championship and become Shanghai Masters runner-up but Guodong has been on a steady upward curve throughout this campaign – closing in on the top 48 in the world rankings.
Fellow Chinese hopefuls Liu Chuang and Cao Yupeng also made it into the third and penultimate qualifying round for the Welsh Open, which bodes well for the upcoming pair of ranking events that will be staged in the Far East in the upcoming couple of months.
By contrast, though, Liu Song, Yu Delu and Li Yan all lost out to Adam Wicheard, Anthony McGill and Sam Baird while home hopefuls Daniel Wells and Michael White also failed to progress further in hope of making the local tournament with defeats to Mark Joyce and Ian McCulloch respectively.
The result of the day was arguably Lucky Vatnani’s 4-1 victory over stalwart Barry Pinches – the Indian now only two rounds away from reaching his first major event – while Kurt Maflin put in a solid display to oust the ever-popular Tony Drago 4-2.
Elsewhere, there were triumphs for David Gilbert, Alfie Burden, Rod Lawler, Andy Hicks and Adam Duffy – the latter enjoying a comprehensive 4-0 whitewash over former world number three James Wattana.