Eight players booked their places in the last 16 of the Gdynia Open on a busy Friday in Poland.
The final European Tour event of the season is important in respect to many of the respective rankings races.
The final places for the upcoming Players Championship and World Grand Prix will be determined upon its conclusion, while there are also implications concerning potential tour cards for next season through money earned on the European Tour Order of Merit.
In the race for the Players Championship, Sam Baird and Andrew Higginson both did themselves a big favour by winning their opening three matches to reach round four.
With the pair hovering around the crucial top 24 cut-off line at the outset of the tournament, both men should have now done more than enough to safely book their spots in Manchester next month.
Elsewhere, Tom Ford inflicted a potentially damaging last 32 defeat on Stephen Maguire as the Scot continues to tentatively hold on to the 32nd and final ticket for the lucrative World Grand Prix.
Maguire holds around a £1,000 advantage over his nearest challenger, Mark Joyce, who will be hoping for a good run when he enters the fray on Saturday in a last gasp attempt to dislodge the Scotsman.
Meanwhile, world no.1 Mark Selby came from 3-0 down to deny in-form Belgian Luca Brecel a tilt at a maiden title on Sunday, with Marco Fu and Mark King also earning a hat-trick of victories to continue their good form in the minor-ranking event series this campaign.
Worth noting is Selby’s second round triumph over John Higgins, which resulted in the four-time world champion being unable to qualify for the Players Championship.
Rory McLeod, the Ruhr Open champion, is also back to winning ways and edged Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien 4-2 in the third round.
For David Morris, the Kilkenny cueist managed one victory but that was to be as good as it got for the 27 year-old as he lost 4-0 to Fu – peculiarly docked a frame for being late.
Morris must rely on a strong performance in this year’s World Championship if he is to regain his tour card.
All the permutations surrounding the various lists this weekend can be followed in more detail with Matt Huart on ProSnookerBlog.
Saturday will see the second half of the field whittled down to complete the last 16 line-up.
Categories: Snooker News