Gibraltar Open Snooker: Mark Williams among string of withdrawals

March 22, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Five
Mark Williams is not heading to the Gibraltar Open (Picture: Getty Images)

It remains a star-studded cast for this season’s Gibraltar Open, but not there will be fewer stars sparkling on the rock than hoped, after a number of withdrawals.

Mark Williams is the biggest name of six to change their mind on the event this week, which follows both Stephen Maguire and Anthony McGill pulling out last week.

Also confirmed to have withdrawn on Monday were Sam Craigie, Alex Ursenbacher, Simon Lichtenberg, Jamie O’Neill and Michael Judge.

Remarkably, Yan Bingtao never entered the event, despite having the ability to win the lucrative BetVictor bonus and qualify for the Tour Championship were he to be crowned champion in Gibraltar.

The Tiger could even drop out of the world’s top 16 just before the Crucible, if results went against him, which would mean he would be forced into World Championship qualifying. Not playing this week certainly seems an odd move.

There will be plenty of big names in action, though, with Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, John Higgins and Zhao Xintong among those competing for the BetVictor bonus.

The Gibraltar Open is the final event of the series and 11 players can still top that particular ranking list and claim the £150,000 bonus.

Higgins, Mark Allen, Fan Zhengyi, Luca Brecel, Neil Robertson, O’Sullivan, Zhao, Hossein Vafaei, Joe Perry, Trump and Ricky Walden are all still in with a chance of winning the big cheque.

A prize that dwarves the money on offer just for winning the tournament, which stands at £50,000.

All the withdrawn players have been replaced by amateurs, with Leo Fernandez, Daniel Womersley, Luke Pinches, Joshua Thomond, Ben Fortey, Sean Harvey, Kuldesh Johal and Rob Lawler stepping in.

Gibraltar Open first round draw and schedule

Thursday 24 March – local times (UK time +1)

09:30 Li Hang v Luke Pinches
09:30 Martin O’Donnell v Jordan Brown
09:30 Dominic Dale v Louis Heathcote
09:30 Shaun Murphy v Ken Doherty
09:30 Jamie Jones v Billy Joe Castle
09:30 Xu Si v Iulian Boiko
09:30 Peter Devlin v Xiao Guodong
09:30 Barry Hawkins v Zhang Anda
09:30 Rod Lawler v Aaron Hill
09:30 Dean Young v Stuart Carrington
11:00 Ding Junhui v Mark Lloyd
11:00 Gary Wilson v Mark King
11:00 Matthew Stevens v Sean Harvey
11:00 Andrew Pagett v Ali Carter
11:00 Daniel Womersley v Pang Junxu
11:00 Alfie Burden v Rory McLeod
11:30 Wu Yize v Andy Hicks
11:30 Kyren Wilson v Lukas Kleckers
11:30 Neil Robertson v Liang Wenbo
11:30 Oliver Lines v David Gilbert
11:30 Luca Brecel v Kurt Maflin
12:30 Hammad Miah v David Lilley
12:30 Robbie Williams v Zhang Jiankang
12:30 Hossein Vafaei v Jak Jones
13:00 Chris Wakelin v Si Jiahui
13:00 Zhao Xintong v Jamie Clarke
13:00 Joshua Thomond v Ross Muir
13:00 Allan Taylor v Lyu Haotian
14:00 Noppon Saengkham v Matthew Selt
14:00 Soheil Vahedi v Sean Maddocks
14:00 Farakh Ajaib v Ashley Carty
14:00 Elliot Slessor v Michael Georgiou

Friday 25 Mar

09:30 Ricky Walden v Liam Highfield
09:30 Haydon Pinhey v Jackson Page
09:30 Ryan Day v Ng On Yee
09:30 Lee Walker v Zhou Yuelong
09:30 John Higgins v David Grace
09:30 John J Astley v Michael Holt
09:30 James Cahill v Ben Hancorn
09:30 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Francis Becerra
09:30 Joe Perry v Leo Fernandez
09:30 Kuldesh Johal v Michael White
11:00 Cao Yupeng v Ben Fortey
11:00 Jimmy Robertson v Tian Pengfei
11:00 Ian Burns v Tom Ford
11:00 Joe O’Connor v Duane Jones
11:00 Mitchell Mann v Fergal O’Brien
11:00 Jack Lisowski v Mark Davis
11:30 Mark Allen v Mark Joyce
11:30 Nigel Bond v Chen Zifan
11:30 Fan Zhengyi v Ashley Hugill
11:30 Barry Pinches v Peter Lines
11:30 Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ben Woollaston
12:30 Fraser Patrick v Steven Hallworth
12:30 Lei Peifan v Robert Milkins
12:30 Jamie Wilson v Reanne Evans
13:00 Judd Trump v Andrew Higginson
13:00 Zhao Jianbo v Simon Blackwell
13:00 Jimmy White v Anthony Hamilton
13:00 Stuart Bingham v Gerard Greene
14:00 Scott Donaldson v Lu Ning
14:00 Chang Bingyu v Sanderson Lam
14:00 Lee Prickman v Yuan SiJun
14:00 Craig Steadman v Gao Yang

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