Scottish Open draw
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Scottish Open Draw and Preview

Next stop on the 2019/20 campaign is Glasgow with the commencement on Monday of the Scottish Open draw at the Emirates Arena.

The UK Championship has just wrapped up with Ding Junhui overcoming Stephen Maguire to lift a fourth career Triple Crown event.

Yet, there’s no opportunity for a quick respite as the third tournament in the Home Nations series immediately gets under way.

It marks the final chance this decade for players to get their hands on a ranking event trophy.

Mark Allen is the reigning champion and begins his defence on the opening day against Andy Hicks.

Other recent winners Neil Robertson and Marco Fu return as well, facing Ken Doherty and Sam Craigie in the first round respectively.

As always, a lot of attention will be on Ronnie O’Sullivan, who stunned many on Saturday with his decision to withdraw from the upcoming Masters at Alexandra Palace.

In a big blow for the prestigious invitational, the record seven-time winner basically stated that he couldn’t be bothered, thus only enhancing his reputation of being an enigma.

Barring another late turnaround, O’Sullivan will be taking part in the Scottish Open draw, though, with an opening tie against Dominic Dale to look forward to.

The Welshman, of course, ended a ten-game losing streak to O’Sullivan in the World Open in October.

Having narrowly been denied at the Northern Ireland Open, O’Sullivan remains in search of a 37th ranking event title that would surpass Stephen Hendry’s long-held career record.

What irony then it would be if the 44 year-old could eclipse the figure in a competition that provides a trophy honouring Scotland’s most famous snooker son.

In Belfast, O’Sullivan missed out in the final against Judd Trump and it will be interesting to see how the world number one responds to his subsequent shock defeat to Nigel Bond in York.

Trump faces Amini Amiri in the last 128, the opponent who he thrashed 6-0 at the same stage at the Barbican Centre only a couple of weeks ago.

Ding and Maguire, meanwhile, won’t have much time to catch their breath with both currently pencilled in to play again on Monday.

The former, in fact, was originally due for a 10am start, although late adjustments to the schedule are expected to be made in order to best accommodate the players.

Both, assuming they still make the trip up north, will have a pair of Whites for company with Ding set to meet Michael and Maguire up against Jimmy.

Elsewhere, all the regular stars should be in attendance, except for Mark Williams who has opted out of an event for the third time this term.

The likes of Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Kyren Wilson, and home favourite John Higgins will all be hoping to sustain a challenge for the £70,000 top prize.

One of the picks of the first round ties see a resurgent Matthew Stevens, a quarter-finalist in the UK Championship, in action against Stuart Bingham.

However, with the best-of-seven format utilised up until the last eight, it’s inevitably going to be difficult to predict which players will survive the frenetic first few days.

Live coverage is on Eurosport and Quest TV.

Click here to view the Scottish Open draw (Times: CET)

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