Ken Doherty has claimed victory on the first day of the 2017/18 World Snooker Tour, defeating Peter Lines 4-2 at Kaspersky Riga Masters qualifying in Preston.
1997 World Champion Doherty is competing this season by virtue of an invitational tour card which which allows him to enter certain events on the calendar. He was awarded the invitation after dropping off the tour at the end of last season. Lines is competing on the tour for the first time in two years having qualified through the EBSA Playoffs.
With Lines leading 2-1, Doherty responded with a contribution of 85 to restore parity. From there he didn’t look back, winning a further two frames in a row to seal the win and book a trip to Latvia.
Jimmy White will join him in Riga after he held off a Jak Jones comeback to win 4-3.
The Whirlwind was also offered an invitational tour card after dropping off the tour at the end of last season. He got this campaign off to a strong start as he moved into a 3-1 advantage. However, the Welshman Jones hit back to force a decider. It was White who emerged to win a three hour nail-biter.
Kurt Maflin recorded a 4-3 defeat of world number 16 Martin Gould. The Norwegian led 3-1 thanks to breaks of 127 and 60, but Gould battled back to move level at 3-3. It was Maflin who edged over the line.
Scotland’s Eden Sharav completed an impressive comeback to win 4-3 against Malaysia’s Thor Chuan Leong.
Sharav trailed 3-0, but hit back with runs of 53 and 63 on his way to forcing a deciding frame. He then compiled a break of 70 to secure his place in Riga.
Andrew Higginson recorded a 4-2 defeat of China’s promising 17-year-old Yan Bingtao.
A break of 66 in the third frame helped world number 49 Higginson move into a 2-1 advantage. However, Yan responded immediately to draw level with a run of 76. Higginson then claimed the final two frames to progress.
Mark Davis wasted little time in whitewashing Zhao Xintong 4-0. The 44-year-old compiled breaks of 60 and 73 on his way to the win.
For full results click here.