Higgins
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John Higgins Safely Through in Milton Keynes

The Scot won the event under its previous guise as an invitational in both 2017 and 2018.

John Higgins scored heavily to comfortably advance to the last 32 of the Championship League on Thursday in Milton Keynes.

The Scot compiled a brace of centuries and four other sizable contributions in overcoming amateur Brian Ochoiski and the lowly-ranked Amine Amiri.



Higgins needed a point from his final game with Joe O’Connor to guarantee his progress, and the “Wizard of Wishaw” wasted little time as he quickly won the two frames he needed for qualification.

The former world number one will feature in Group G during the next phase of the competition at the end of October.

Also in that round-robin will be 2019 Championship League winner Martin Gould, who continued his solid start to the new season.

Gould came within a frame of capturing his second ranking title last weekend, ultimately succumbing to a thrilling 9-8 defeat to Mark Selby in the European Masters title-deciding contest.

But the “Pinner Potter” quickly bounced back from that disappointment and topped Group 26 with six points from a possible nine.

After beating Igor Figueiredo and losing to Simon Lichtenberg, Gould knew that only a victory would suffice from his last scheduled fixture against Kurt Maflin.

The latter had acquired four points, and with Lichtenberg losing to Figueiredo one more would have been enough to see him make it through, but Gould won the crucial fourth and final frame of their battle with a break of 66 to clinch it with a 3-1 scoreline.

The first stage of the Championship League continues on Friday with Luca Brecel, the winner of the most recent edition of the tournament the other side of the summer, back in action.

Live coverage is on Matchroom.Live and FreeSports.

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

Featured photo credit: CLSnooker



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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the Northern Ireland Open – won by Mark Allen.

1. Judd Trump
2. Mark Selby
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Neil Robertson
5. Kyren Wilson
6. John Higgins
7. Shaun Murphy
8. Stephen Maguire
9. Mark Allen
10. Ding Junhui
11. Mark Williams
12. Stuart Bingham
13. Yan Bingtao
14. Barry Hawkins
15. Jack Lisowski
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy