Barry Hawkins defeated Michael Holt 4-2 at the Guild Hall in Preston to book his place at this month’s Kaspersky Riga Masters.
The Hawk tasted victory in Latvia three years ago, when he defeated Tom Ford 4-1 in the final of the 2014 Riga Open. Holt will be disappointed not to qualify for the event in which he was runner-up to Neil Robertson 12 months ago.
In a high quality match, it was the Hitman who struck first to take the opening frame with a break of 76. However, Hawkins responded immediately with a contribution of 56 to restore parity. There were further breaks of 53, 96 and 60 as the Hawk flew to the finish line.
Joe Perry overcame Graeme Dott in a tense 4-3 clash. There was never more than a frame between the Gentleman and the 2006 World Champion, who went on a superb run to the last 16 at the Crucible in April. However, it was Perry who came through in a tight decider to clinch the win.
Stephen Maguire defeated Ian Burns 4-0 to book his place in Riga. The Scot compiled runs of 78, 57 and 68 as he completed the win in just over an hour.
Iran’s Hossein Vafaei overcame German Masters champion Anthony Hamilton in a 4-3 thriller. Hamilton had led 3-2, but Vafaei clinched the final two frames to snatch victory.
Zhou Yuelong looked to be in impressive form as he whitewashed Australia’s Kurt Dunham 4-0. There were breaks of 74 and 51 for the 2015 World Cup winner.
For full results click here.