Fergal O’Brien booked his place in the last 16 of the Ruhr Open on Saturday after winning his opening three matches in Germany.
The Dubliner conceded only two frames as he comfortably overcame amateurs Luke Garland and Adam Duffy 4-1, before whitewashing Michael Wasley in the third round.
The 42 year-old is fighting for a spot in the top 24 of the European Order of Merit, for which there’s qualification for the lucrative Grand Finals in Thailand upon the series’ conclusion.
A run further into the business end of the tournament on Sunday would surely provide the Irishman with an excellent chance of achieving that.
O’Brien will face Englishman Chris Wakelin in the fourth round before a potential quarter-final bout with Judd Trump or Marco Fu.
Australian Open champion Trump continued his good run of form this season as he bounced back from his defeat to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the Champion of Champions with wins over Rory McLeod, Sam Baird and Matthew Selt.
Fu needed all seven frames to pip Scotland’s Fraser Patrick, a round after he had destroyed the ever-struggling John Higgins 4-0 – with the four-time world champion failing to even pot a single ball.
Mark Williams too showed signs of a return to the form of old recently at the International Championship and a brace of deciding frame victories over Tom Ford and Mark Davis helped him into Sunday’s final day.
The Welshman will face fellow veteran Mark King for a quarter-final berth while Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail will battle it out with 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy in the final contest.
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