The frenetic snooker roadshow continues with the start of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix on Monday at the Guild Hall in Preston.
The German Masters isn’t even 24 hours old but the next ranking event is already upon us as Shaun Murphy returns to defend the title he won in Llandudno last season.
£100,000 is at stake for the champion of the World Grand Prix this week, in which the top 32 money-earners from this season have qualified to bolster their bank balances.
This line-up naturally includes all of the marquee players in the game and one Anthony Hamilton, who at the age of 45 finally secured a maiden ranking event triumph in Berlin yesterday.
The “Sheriff” duels with the “Pistol” in round one as Hamilton, who will have only a couple of days to recover from his landmark success, plays Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen on Wednesday.
World no.1 Mark Selby will be challenged by Martin Gould, who by reaching the semi-finals in his defence at the Tempodrom was the last competitor to book his place in the field.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, meanwhile, faces the intriguing prospect of an encounter with 16 year-old Yan Bingtao, the Chinese rookie who has already begun to make waves in the game on his debut season.
2015 champion Judd Trump plays last week’s maximum man Tom Ford while reigning champion Murphy meets Michael Holt.
With the 32 best players from this term involved, the draw is obviously littered with interesting ties in which the outcomes will prove difficult to predict.
Indeed, this will only be exacerbated by the fact that the first round – in fact, all three rounds before the semi-finals – will be played under the short best of seven guise.
ITV4 returns for its second live coverage stint of the campaign, meaning many households across Ireland and the UK will have full viewing access.
Draw (Last 32)
Mark Selby 3-4 Martin Gould
Mark Williams 2-4 Joe Perry
Anthony Hamilton 0-4 Mark Allen
Dominic Dale 0-4 Liang Wenbo
Yan Bingtao 2-4 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Ricky Walden 2-4 Neil Robertson
Barry Hawkins 4-2 Kyren Wilson
Judd Trump 4-2 Tom Ford
Ali Carter 4-3 Zhou Yuelong
Mark King 4-3 Stephen Maguire
David Gilbert 1-4 Anthony McGill
Marco Fu 4-2 Jamie Jones
John Higgins 3-4 Michael White
Ryan Day 4-2 Stuart Bingham
Michael Holt 1-4 Shaun Murphy
Yu Delu 2-4 Ding Junhui
Martin Gould 3-4 Joe Perry
Mark Allen 3-4 Liang Wenbo
Ronnie O’Sullivan 1-4 Neil Robertson
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Judd Trump
Ali Carter 3-4 Mark King
Anthony McGill 2-4 Marco Fu
Michael White 2-4 Ryan Day
Shaun Murphy 4-3 Ding Junhui
Joe Perry 3-4 Liang Wenbo
Neil Robertson 2-4 Barry Hawkins
Mark King 2-4 Marco Fu
Ryan Day 4-2 Shaun Murphy
Liang Wenbo 1-6 Barry Hawkins
Marco Fu 4-6 Ryan Day
Barry Hawkins 10-7 Ryan Day
Categories: Snooker News