The Irishman didn’t lose a single round-robin match as he moved forward into the last 32 stage.
Ken Doherty finished first in Group 17 of the Championship League on Monday after eclipsing the likes of Neil Robertson in Milton Keynes.
The veteran Irishman got his mini-league off to the best possible start, overcoming world number three Neil Robertson 3-1.
Doherty immediately supported that victory with another, an even more emphatic 3-0 triumph against Andrew Higginson in which he compiled a 109 century break.
No set of results in the final round of fixtures would have denied the 1997 world champion his qualification for the next group stages, but the 51 year-old made extra sure by drawing his last tie with Eden Sharav for an additional point.
Last month, Doherty wasted a golden opportunity to become the world seniors champion for the first time in his career when he squandered a 4-0 advantage in an eventual 5-4 defeat to Jimmy White at the Crucible Theatre.
However, the “Darlin’ of Dublin” has proven that he can still mix it on occasion with some of the best competitors the Main Tour has to offer.
🗣️ “I’m delighted to get through, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement”@kendoherty1997 isn’t getting ahead of himself despite beating Neil Robertson, and remained unbeaten in group 17.
— Championship League Snooker (@CLSnooker) September 28, 2020
Meanwhile, Alexander Ursenbacher was the other player to emerge unscathed from the first phase of what is the third Championship League event in 2020.
The young Swiss similarly finished on seven points, winning Group 11 ahead of Riley Parsons, Lukas Kleckers, and World Championship semi-finalist Anthony McGill.
Doherty and Ursenbacher are the 17th and 18th players to respectively advance to the final week of the Championship League at the end of October.
A total of 14 more first-stage groups need to be completed this week before that line-up is complete.
The likes of world number one Judd Trump, recent European Masters champion Mark Selby, and fellow Englishman Shaun Murphy are among the high-profile names to have already made it through.
On Tuesday, Mark Allen begins his Championship League campaign in Group 9, while Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh features in Group 19.
Live coverage continues on Matchroom.Live and FreeSports.
Click here to view the full draw (Times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WSS