China Open 2012 (the qualifiers) - Beijing, here we come!

01:55:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The Whirlwind is flying to China
We spent four glorious days in Sheffield with the China Open qualifiers, but now it's time to draw the conclusions and these are that ... we have 16 players that will need to check their VISA, passport and pack their bags, because at the end of March they are going to Beijing.

And if last tournament we saw the "legends gang" being proudly represented by Steve Davis, Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry, now it's time for a name that hasn't been circulating too much lately. I'm taking about Jimmy White. 

"The Whirlwind" managed to beat Liam Highfield 5-3, but also Andrew Higginson (by the same scoreline) in order to book himself a place in the 2012 China Open. What a long waited victory for the people's champion, but I can't help on thinking about last year dreadful event when the "Whirlwind" had to withdrew because his VISA expired. "Champ, be sure to have all your documents in order, for your fans want to see you in China in the spring!"

Right by his side, another member of the "legends gang", Stephen Hendry is also going to fly to China after sending in a prior trip, to his home country, the player Yu Delu by 5-1. That's determination from the Scots' part.

The Pink Army takes over Beijing
Sadly, we won’t see Steve Davis nor Ken Doherty, "The Nugget" being hammered 5-1 by Rory McLeod, while "The Darling of Dublin" faced Marcus Campbell's fury of 5-2.

I know the Chinese people like the colour red, but how about for some pink instead? We've started with Jimmy White, but now it's time for Dominic Dale, Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins and Jamie Jones.  These are the names of the four brave pink soldiers who are willing to entertain the Chinese crowd in March, for all of them have earned their right to play for the China Open.

Dominic Dale secured his trip to Beijing after a 5-2 scoreline obtained in front of Jack Lisowski, Joe Perry almost erased "The Sherriff of Pottingham" Anthony Hamilton, Barry Hawkins kneeled down Liu Chuang 5-0, while Jamie Jones cashed a tremendous victory of 5-1 in front of Marco Fu.

Tom Ford looks forward for the Asian battle
We also have some PTC champions on our Chinese list, the winner of the 11th edition, Tom Ford having to put quite a fight against David Grace to obtain his ticket to China, the match ending on a 5-4 result, but also the PTC 3 champion, Ben Woollaston who had the same faith as his predecessor, his baize rival being a very powerful and determined-to-win player, Ryan Day. Still, Ben prevailed the battle of cues by 5-4.

Although Sam Craigie took a beautiful start, beating Adam Whicheard 5-3, hammering Liu Song 5-1 and seeing off Gerard Greene 5-3, the youngster met his match in the person of Ricky Walden who put an end to his China dream with a 5-3 final result. Better luck for the Worlds little champ and well done Ricky!

You don't mess with the Ebdonator
Mark King is also going to be in China this year after winning 5-1 over Adrian Gunnell, as well as Michael Holt who stopped Mark Davis from qualifying after a tense battle that ended on a 5-4 scoreline and Peter Ebdon who denied local star Liang Wenbo the right to perform in front on his home audience with a perfect 5-0.

The second Jamie (after Jones, of course), Jamie Cope is returning to China after visiting this country during the 2011 Shanghai Masters. 

The Englishman and former Top 16 member beat Alan McManus 5-4 to book himself a ticket to Beijing, while the last to grab a spot to probably one of the most important snooker competitions in China, Fergal O'Brien squeezed pass Li Yan with a 5-4 result in order to write his name on the qualifiers list.

Final results: 

43) Andrew Higginson 3-5 Jimmy White
45) Tom Ford 5-4 David Grace
46) Mark King 5-1 Adrian Gunnell
47) Barry Hawkins 5-0 Liu Chuang
53) Dominic Dale 5-2 Jack Lisowski
58) Rory McLeod 5-1 Steve Davis

44) Joe Perry 5-1 Anthony Hamilton
48) Ricky Walden 5-3 Sam Craigie
49) Marcus Campbell 5-2 Ken Doherty
51) Mark Davis 4-5 Michael Holt
52) Ryan Day 4-5 Ben Woollaston
56) Stephen Hendry 5-1 Yu Delu

50) Fergal O'Brien 5-4 Li Yan
54) Marco Fu 1-5 Jamie Jones
55) Jamie Cope 5-4 Alan McManus
57) Peter Ebdon 5-0 Liang Wenbo