OPEN ALL HOURS
So the World Open field is being whittled down in Sheffield and later today the last 64 will be known.
World Snooker have already announced eight matches to be held over to the TV stages in Glasgow next month and another three will be decided later today.
In fact, make that two as Jimmy White, ever popular but a rare presence before the cameras these days, will face Paul Davison in Glasgow.
The decision on the other two matches will be taken by World Snooker and the BBC, the host broadcasters.
They won’t have to agonise for long. If Brazilian Igor Figueiredo beats Dave Gilbert he will be paired with twice world champion Mark Williams, which would be perfect for TV.
If Alan McManus beats Chris Norbury he will face teenager Anthony McGill in what would be a battle of two Glaswegians as well as youth v experience.
Shaun Murphy’s match against Dave Harold is also a possibility, even if they did once serve up the longest frame in snooker history.
The shorter format hasn’t created that many big shocks yet. Much has been made of the World Open being the ‘FA Cup of snooker’ but a big factor in the FA Cup is the venue of each match, home advantage whether at a big stadium or a tiny non league ground.
Even though the World Open matches are shorter than for all the other tournaments, I suspect the cream will still rise to the top.
Some will doubtless feel the matches are too short for a ranking event but it's worth remembering why this tournament is happening at all: the BBC doesn’t want the Grand Prix. The only way they will show four tournaments instead of three next season is if something profoundly different can be found.
The World Open may fit the bill. Then again it may not. But we won’t find out until Glasgow and it’s in everyone’s interests to try and make it work.
- Posts: 4597
- Joined: 02 February 2010
- Location: Brussels
- Snooker Idol: Ronnie
- Highest Break: 25
- Walk-On: Kodachrome (Paul Simon)