world qualifiers
Ranking, Snooker Headlines

Perfect Stuart Bingham Through in Championship League

Twelve players have now made it beyond the first phase of the competition in Milton Keynes.

Stuart Bingham won all nine of his frames to safely book his place in the last 32 of the Championship League on Friday.

The Englishman featured in Group 12 alongside countryman James Cahill as well as Chinese duo Yuan Sijun and Pang Junxu.

But the world number 13 was barely tested as he whitewashed each opponent with 3-0 scorelines to top the standings on nine points.

Bingham triumphed in the 2015 Championship League when it was previously held as an invitational event on the calendar.

The current Masters champion joins the likes of Judd Trump, Barry Hawkins, Shaun Murphy, and David Gilbert in the next round, which will take place at the end of October.

Elsewhere, Xiao Guodong emerged from a much tighter Group 18 as the winner with seven points ahead of Hossein Vafaei.

The latter held the upper hand going into the final bout of fixtures, and with six points to Xiao’s four the Iranian only needed a draw from their encounter.

But Xiao triumphed by taking all three frames with the aid of a 79 break to advance beyond the opening hurdle.

There are 32 first-round groups, with the first 16 this week and the remaining ones taking place in a second eight-day stretch at the end of September and into October.

The 32 group winners will contest another round-robin phase, and the process will continue until the final two group winners face off against each other for the trophy.

For the first time in the tournament’s history, the Championship League has been upgraded and now boasts ranking event status.

On Saturday, 2019 runner-up Jack Lisowski and March’s beaten finalist Graeme Dott are among those who will be entering the fray.

Live coverage continues on Matchroom.Live and FreeSports TV.

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

Featured photo credit: WST

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