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Review of the Riga Masters (Qualifiers)

Jimmy White enjoyed a winning start to his 38th professional season with a narrow 4-3 victory over Jak Jones on the opening day of the 2017 Riga Masters Qualifiers, while Martin Gould suffered a surprise defeat by the same scoreline against Kurt Maflin at the Preston Guild Hall.

The Whirlwind, who is back on the tour via an invitational wildcard following his relegation at the end of last season, was pegged back to 3-3 from 3-1 up against the Welshman, but held his nerve in the decider to advance to the final stages in Riga.

White started positively with a break 58 but Jones responded with 57 before taking the second frame on a respotted black to level the match at 1-1.

The people’s champion then reeled of the next two frames to see the winning line in sight but the young Welshman won the next 2 frames to once again level the match at 3-3.

The young Welsh man had the first chance in the decider but missed an easy red to the left middle pocket which allowed the whirlwind to pounce and win the match.

Norway’s number 1 Kurt Maflin fired in breaks of 49, 60 and 127 to defeat world number 16 Martin Gould 4-3 and in the process book his place in the last 64 stage in Riga.

Chinese sensational Zhou Yuelong showed that he means business this season by winning 4-0 in less than an hour against an overmatched Kurt Dunham, while Joe Perry’s heavyweight clash with Graeme Dott proved to be exactly that as it went right down to the wire with Perry winning on the final pink.

Ryan Day was in sensation form in winning the all Welsh clash with David John stroking in breaks of 63, 91, 79 and 78  on the way to a 4-1 win.

Riga Masters Qualifiers 2017 Results

Wednesday May 31

Ian Preece 3-4 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Michael Georgiou 4-1 Sanderson Lam
Ashley Hugill 0-4 Stuart Carrington
Martin Gould 3-4 Kurt Maflin
William Lemons 1-4 Alan McManus
Thor Chuan Leong 3-4 Eden Sharav
Jimmy White 4-3 Jak Jones
Gary Wilson 4-2 Hao Hu
Ken Doherty 4-2 Peter Lines
Josh Boileau 0-4 Robin Hull
Zhang Anda 4-2 Allan Taylor
Tom Ford 4-2 Hamza Akbar
Jimmy Robertson 4-2 Martin O’Donnell
Yan Bingtao 2-4 Andrew Higginson
Stuart Bingham 4-1 Li Hang
Jamie Jones 4-2 Fergal O’Brien
Declan Brennan 3-4 John J Astley
Duane Jones 3-4 Jamie Curtis-Barrett
Zhao Xintong 0-4 Mark Davis
Sam Craigie 4-3 Soheil Vahedi
Chris Wakelin 3-4 Matthew Stevens

Thursday June 1

Oliver Lines 4-3 Yuan SiJun
Sean O’Sullivan 3-4 Christopher Keogan
Stephen Maguire 4-0 Ian Burns
Gerard Greene 4-1 Zhang Yong
Anthony Hamilton 3-4 Hossein Vafaei
Zhou Yuelong 4-0 Kurt Dunham
Graeme Dott 3-4 Joe Perry
Tian Pengfei 4-2 Scott Donaldson
Ben Jones 4-1 Mike Dunn
Robert Milkins 4-1 Aditya Mehta
Barry Hawkins 4-2 Michael Holt
Craig Steadman 4-1 Lyu Haotian
David John 1-4 Ryan Day
Chen Zifan 4-2 Ross Muir
Mitchell Mann 1-4 Ben Woollaston
Alfie Burden 0-4 Kyren Wilson
Mark Joyce 4-1 Fang Xiongman

Friday 2nd June

Nigel Bond 4-1 Dominic Dale
James Silverwood 1-4 Jackson Page
Rory McLeod 0-4 Xiao Guodong
Adam Duffy 1-4 Noppon Saengkham
Ricky Walden 0-4 Cao Yupeng
Matthew Selt 3-4 Sam Baird
Jack Lisowski 4-3 Mark Allen
Michael White 4-1 Rhys Clark
Billy Joe Castle 0-4 Alexander Ursenbacher
Elliot Slessor 4-0 Jamie Clarke
Daniel Wells 0-4 Peter Ebdon
Lee Walker 4-1 Mei Xi Wen
Chris Totten 0-4 Mark King
Robbie Williams 4-2 Xu Si
David Grace 1-4 Ashley Carty
Mark Williams w/o Yu De Lu
Shaun Murphy 2-4 Luca Brecel

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