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Jimmy White qualifies for 2023 Welsh Open

Jimmy White continued his resurgence in form this season by qualifying for the Welsh Open on Wednesday.

Compiling breaks of 67, 65, and 67, the 60 year-old comfortably beat Craig Steadman 4-0 at the Barnsley Metrodome.

White ended the 2022 calendar year on a high note by winning four matches to qualify for the venue stages of the UK Championship.

He subsequently won a further two games in the German Masters preliminaries, guaranteeing his presence in the last 32 in Berlin at the start of next month..

The ten-time ranking event winner – the oldest competitor on the professional circuit – has now won nine matches during this term in total.

To put this into context, White managed only two triumphs in the entirety of the 2021/22 campaign.

That miserable stretch ensured that he finished the last campaign way down the rankings, leading many to question his use of an invitational tour card.

But there is a genuine chance that White could end this season by renewing his tour card through his performances on the table, rather than just by his legacy within the sport.

While it remains unlikely that he will be able to do enough to break into the top 64, the Londoner is well-placed on the one-year rankings.

The four highest-ranked players on this list at the end of the season who aren’t inside the top 64 will receive fresh two-year cards, with White provisionally in second place as things stand.

In the first round proper of the Welsh Open in February, White is scheduled to face either Zhao Xintong or Tian Pengfei in the draw.

However, as the former is currently suspended pending an ongoing investigation into alleged match-fixing involving Chinese players, his opponent looks set to be Tian.

Ken Doherty, meanwhile, also advanced to the last 64 of the competition after a 4-3 triumph against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Recent Scottish Open champion Gary Wilson and former world number 12 Anthony McGill are among the others in action on day one of the Welsh Open preliminary stage.

Live coverage of the Welsh Open qualifiers is available on Discovery+ and Matchroom Live.

Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)

Featured photo credit: WST

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