The Hawk got his 2021/22 campaign off to a decent start.
Barry Hawkins held off the challenge of Ben Woollaston to top Group 28 as Stage One of Championship League Snooker continued on Wednesday in Leicester.
The three-time ranking event winner comfortably took victory in his opening two round-robin fixtures, beating Zak Surety and Kuldesh Johal with 3-0 scorelines.
Hawkins needed just a point from his final group match against Woollaston, a player who was hoping to do well in what is the first ranking event of the season to be staged in his home city.
The latter could have usurped Hawkins with a victory and duly won the first frame of the contest, but Hawkins recovered to lead 2-1, and an eventual draw proved enough for the 42 year-old to advance to Stage Two.
A similar conclusion transpired in Group 2, where Stuart Carrington and Jordan Brown battled it out in their third round-robin clash under the same circumstances.
Again, the chasing Welsh Open champion Brown won the opening frame only for his opponent, who had already beaten Duane Jones and Michael Judge, to come back and win the next two frames to progress.
Carrington’s 137 break against Ireland’s Judge also represents the highest break of the competition so far.
English pair Hawkins and Carrington will rejoin the action in a few weeks after the remaining Stage One snooker groups from this edition of the Championship League are completed.
On Thursday, the tournament continues with a Group 3 that features Tom Ford, Simon Lichtenberg, Reanne Evans, and Simon Blackwell.
David Grace, Farakh Ajaib, Bai Langning, and Ben Fortey are set to participate in Group 10 as well.
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💥 Top of group 28
🦅 The Hawk is off to a flyer at #ChampionshipLeagueSnooker – he’s through to stage two! pic.twitter.com/LxyKKuCZ4D
— BetVictor Championship League Snooker (@CLSnooker) July 21, 2021
What is the Championship League?
The Championship League has been on the calendar in some way, shape, or form since 2008, but it’s only in the last couple of years that it has been intermittently staged as a ranking event.
On this occasion, there are three stages to the month-long competition with 128 players initially split into 32 round-robin groups comprising four players in each.
The 32 group winners advance to Stage Two, before the next eight group winners determine the competitors who feature in Stage Three, with all matches lasting just four frames.
The two players who win their third and final groups will subsequently contest the outright final, with the winner set to earn £33,000 from the total prize fund.
Where to Watch the Championship League
There will be two tables available to watch on each day of the group stages, with the snooker available across Ireland and the UK on FreeSports in addition to the Matchroom.Live’s snooker streaming service.
There are various other TV broadcast options around the world, which you can view by clicking here.
Click here to view the full draw (Times: CET)