Xiao Guodong won the seventh group of the 2015 Championship League to seal the final place in the Winners Group at Crondon Park.
The former Shanghai Masters finalist won four out of his six round-robin encounters to advance from the league format into the play-offs, where a brace of 3-0 whitewashes guaranteed him victory.
In the semi-final the Chinese no.2 overcame Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien before knocking in breaks of 78 and 50 in beating David Gilbert of England.
In fact, Xiao was the only player to beat Gilbert, who compiled a 147 against the 26 year-old in their earlier group stage clash.
Unfortunately for the likes of Gilbert and O’Brien, the chance to progress into today and tomorrow’s finale has passed them by as the qualification process has come to an end.
Xiao joins Barry Hawkins, Matthew Selt, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham, Mark Davis and Ben Woollaston in a group that, on paper at least, looks very open.
The competition over the next couple of days is likely to be fierce as, other than the increased prize money at stake for winning a frame and emerging with the trophy, the overall champion will also gain an invite into the lucrative Champion of Champions later this year.
Categories: Snooker News