Scotland’s four-time Crucible king John Higgins defeated Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham 4-1 to seal his progression at the BetVictor Scottish Open.
Higgins is aiming to get his name on the Stephen Hendry Trophy for the first time this week. He appeared in the final of the inaugural event back in 2016, but fell short against Marco Fu.
The Glaswegian has shown fine form thus far this season. Trips to the finals of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open, BetVictor English Open have seen him comfortably secure a place at next week’s World Grand Prix, although he is still yet to lift silverware this season. Higgins was also runner-up at the recent invitational Champion of Champions event.
Higgins was comfortable this afternoon against a surprisingly out of sorts opponent in Saengkham. The 31-time ranking event winner composed breaks of 53 and 92 on his way to victory and will face Ryan Day up next.
Higgins said: “I’m really pleased with the win. Noppon has had my number the last few times we have played. All of the snooker boys know how good he is. He’s improving every year. He didn’t play anywhere near he could and gave me a pretty easy game today. I wasn’t expecting that. I’m pleased with the win.
“I would love to get a good run here and go directly from here to Coventry for the World Grand Prix. There would be nothing worse than losing here, going home and then having to go back down to Coventry. My aim is to try to have a good run here and have one last good push before Christmas at the World Grand Prix.”
Li Hang scored a 4-2 win over Shaun Murphy to end the 2005 World Champion’s hopes of World Grand Prix qualification.
Only the top 32 on this season’s one-year list will gain a place for the Coventry event. Li retains an outside chance of sealing a spot after today’s victory. He faces Hossein Vafaei next.
Hammad Miah landed a surprise 4-1 win against Masters champion Yan Bingtao, while Martin Gould edged out Jordan Brown 4-3.
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