The Irishman is beginning his 32nd season on the professional Main Tour.
Ken Doherty won two out of his three round-robin fixtures to top Group 14 of the Championship League on Monday at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
The Dubliner got off to a positive start by beating fellow veteran Rory McLeod 3-1 and followed that up with a 3-0 ousting of amateur Ryan Davies to guarantee his progress.
With draws in the other games in the group, nobody could catch the 1997 world champion in the last round of games in which Doherty tied with Martin Gould to finish with seven points.
That was the very same total that young English duo Oliver Lines and Peter Devlin, who entered the tournament with a back injury as a result of car crash last week, finished with in a closely fought Group 13.
The pair couldn’t be separated from their opening contest with one another, taking a point away from a 2-2 draw to begin the afternoon’s play.
Luke Pinches and Joshua Thomand, amateur top-ups in the competition, didn’t provide much of a test and lost 3-0 in their brace of matches against the professional players.
With their position in the table locked on the same points tally and the same frame difference, Lines edged through at Devlin’s expense courtesy of a higher break of 93 during the day’s play.
Oliver Lines joins his father Peter in Stage Two of the Championship League, and alongside Ken Doherty they’ll each rejoin the action in a couple of weeks time.
On Tuesday, the tournament continues with Group 9 that features former champion John Higgins in addition to Noppon Saengkham, Igor Figueiredo, and Soheil Vahedi.
Group 26 also takes place with Gary Wilson, Steven Hallworth, Cao Yupeng, and amateur James Cahill expected to enter the fray.
🗣️ “I had some great memories of this event last year, I got very close to getting to the final!”@kendoherty1997 has a lot of 💕 for @BetVictor #ChampionshipLeagueSnooker – can the Darling of Dublin go as deep this season? pic.twitter.com/7r9O9hI2bA
— BetVictor Championship League Snooker (@CLSnooker) July 26, 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)
Featured photo credit: @CLSnooker