Phil Haigh ✍️
Gary Wilson, Martin Gould and Fraser Patrick all got off to winning starts at the UK Open Pool Championship as the snooker players try their hand at another pool sport over the summer break.
The brand new 9-ball event was announced in September last year and there is little surprise that it has tempted a few snooker players in with a total prize fund of $200,000 (£160,000).
Former World Snooker Championship semi-finalist Gary Wilson took on American Blaine Barcus on Tuesday afternoon in round one and picked up a 9-6 win.
Wilson told Matchroom: ‘It was getting a bit twitchy, it was a bit too close for my liking.
‘It was a little bit of a scrappy game. I’m just trying to get used to the conditions and trying to realise what’s going on.
‘But luckily he gave us a couple of extra chances towards the end. I just tried me best to keep potting the balls, getting on the next one and keeping it simple.’
This was after Barcus had questioned the fact Wilson came in as a seeded player despite no pool experience.
‘It’s funny how a guy who’s never played a professional pool match gets seeded,’ said Barcus before his defeat.
‘I’m sure he’s not helpless, but I like my chances. I’m hitting the ball well and excited to play.’
Former German Masters and Snooker Shoot Out champ Gould faced Spaniard Tashunka Schultz and came away with a 9-4 win.
Gould will have to sort his break out after consistantly breaking from the centre and failing to pot balls, but Scultz didn’t play well and kept handing the Pinner Potter chances, which he took.
‘I felt really comfortable, the table was beautiful to play on and it was a delight to play,’ said Gould.
‘I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but I know I can play. I’m not used to playing under these conditions, so it was a bit new for that. But once the first couple of racks were out the way, I felt comfortable.
‘I’m delighted to have won, still a long way to go and still so many good players still left in.’
Scotland’s Fraser Patrick also got off to a good start, beating David Black 9-6 to set up a second round meeting with Oliver Szolnoki.
Wilson meets Chris Alexander in round two, while Gould’s opponent is yet to be decided.
Chris Melling, who spent time on the pro snooker circuit but it much better known for his achievements in pool, breezed through round one, beating Petr Urban 9-0.
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