News

Marco Fu Begins Defence of Scottish Open

Reigning champion Marco Fu made a strong start to the Scottish Open as he whitewashed Duane Jones on Monday in Glasgow.

Marco Fu

Fu has won three ranking titles in his career. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

The Hong Kong cueist, who hasn’t been beyond the last 16 of a ranking event this season, completed the rout with a 101 in the last frame.

John Higgins, runner-up to Fu twelve months ago, dropped the first frame but secured a 4-1 success against Jack Lisowski while fellow home hopeful Stephen Maguire maintained his fine form with a 4-0 drubbing of Alex Borg.

Maguire, with runs to the final of the Riga Masters and the last four of last week’s UK Championship, has been tipped by some as a potential winner on home soil this week.

Other Scots to advance at the Emirates Arena included Chris Totten and Scott Donaldson, the latter inflicting more misery on Ireland’s Josh Boileau, who has endured a torrid debut stint on the Main Tour.

Former world champion Graeme Dott crashed out in a disappointing 4-2 reverse to Rory McLeod, though.

Elsewhere, Judd Trump compiled a couple of half-centuries in seeing off Robin Hull 4-0 while Paul Hunter Classic champion Michael White repeated the scoreline against veteran James Wattana.

Trump is one of the favourites to land the £70,000 top prize on Sunday so, if you believe that he holds the aces, you can acquire a Bet and Skill free bet and back him at odds of 11/2.

The highest profile casualty of the opening day was Barry Hawkins after the struggling Englishman succumbed to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Jamie Jones.

Hawkins, the world number seven, hasn’t featured in the latter stages of any tournament this season.

Meanwhile, Ricky Walden continued his mini-resurgence of late with a 4-2 triumph over Billy Joe Castle and young emerging Chinese talent Zhou Yuelong ousted Ian Preece 4-1.

It was a mixed day for the contingent from China, with the likes of the much-improved Li Hang, Xiao Guodong, Yu Delu, and Fang Xiongman – who pipped David Gilbert in a decider – all emerging with spots in the last 64.

However, Lyu Haotian was unable to prolong his strong showing of late on the circuit as the 20 year-old fell to Gary Wilson while Tian Pengfei and Yuan Sijun were among the other Chinese competitors to miss out on the next stage.

Tian became Australian Kurt Dunham’s first victim of the season while Peter Lines accounted for teenager Yuan with a whitewash win.

Stuart Carrington, Mike Dunn, Liam Highfield, and David Grace all reached the second round while, late in the day, Sam Craigie and Jamie Curtis-Barrett beat Thai pair Boonyarit Kaettikun and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

The likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Shaun Murphy – whose first round match was rescheduled after his appearance in the UK Championship final – and Ding Junhui will be entering the fray on Tuesday.

Live coverage continues on Eurosport and Quest TV.

Click here to view the draw. (Times: CET)



Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.