The Northern Ireland Open takes place this week in Milton Keynes ahead of next Monday’s UK Championship and Judd Trump is looking to win the tournament for a third successive year, having gotten the better of Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last two finals.
World champion O’Sullivan was knocked out of the recent Champion of Champions tournament by eventual winner Mark Allen after a fiery row in their quarter-final clash.
And 44-year-old O’Sullivan is still looking for a first Northern Ireland title since the event began in 2016 and will hope to make Sunday’s final.
The Alex Higgins trophy has been won by world No 1 Trump in the past two years, beating O’Sullivan 9-7 in each final.
The Englishman, 31, will be keen for further glory at the Marshall Arena in MK, with the tournament moved from its usual Belfast location due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump won the English Open last month, beating Neil Robertson, and is the bookies’ favourite alongside O’Sullivan.
Champion of Champions winner Allen, Robertson, Mark Selby and Kyren Wilson are among the other threats.
Northern Irishman Allen said heading into this week: “It has really only begun to sink in that the NI Open will be played in Milton Keynes. It’s tough to take. I was always lucky enough to have a big support at the tournament.
“Most of my friends and family would have been there. I usually needed between 80 and 100 tickets. There’s a lot of pressure when you play in the NI Open and also a great sense of pride as everybody is supporting you.
“I’ve played in it for the last four years but it will be a very different tournament this time with no crowd. It will have a very different feel.
You can see all the latest scores and updates from the 2020 Northern Ireland Open below.
Northern Ireland Open order of play
Monday 16 November
Mitchell Mann 1-1 Gao Yang
Simon Lichtenberg 1-0 Rod Lawler
Paul S Davison 2-0 Andy Hicks
Gary Wilson 2-0 Rory McLeod
Tian Pengfei vs Noppon Saengkham
David Gilbert 0-3 David Grace
Yan Bingtao 2-0 Peter Lines
Martin O’Donnell 1-0 Lu Ning
Scott Donaldson vs Sean Maddocks
Michael Holt vs Soheil Vahedi
Judd Trump vs Gerard Greene
Alexander Ursenbacher vs Lei Peifan
Chen Zifan vs Xu Si
Mark Williams vs Jamie Jones
Martin Gould vs Jamie Clarke
Kyren Wilson vs David Lilley
Sam Craigie vs Amine Amiri
Anthony McGill vs Riley Parsons
Xiao Guodong vs Duane Jones
Luca Brecel vs Kacper Filipiak
Zhou Yuelong vs Jimmy White
Fan Zhengyi vs Robert Milkins
Ken Doherty vs Chris Wakelin
Jack Lisowski vs Ashley Carty
Brandon Sargeant vs Louis Heathcote
Aaron Hill vs Jackson Page
Kurt Maflin vs Fraser Patrick
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Jamie O’Neill
Stephen Maguire vs Alex Borg
Shaun Murphy vs Ryan Day
Matthew Selt vs Joe O’Connor
Mark Davis vs Ian Burns
Tuesday 17 November
Barry Pinches vs Liam Highfield
Jamie Wilson vs Nigel Bond
Mark King vs Zak Surety
Zhao Xintong vs Si Jiahui
Lukas Kleckers vs Chang Bingyu
Stuart Carrington vs Billy Joe Castle
Tom Ford vs Lee Walker
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh vs Peter Devlin
Liang Wenbo vs Steven Hallworth
Graeme Dott vs Igor Figueiredo
Neil Robertson vs Declan Lavery
Pang Junxu vs Jak Jones
Mark Joyce vs Dominic Dale
Ding Junhui vs Eden Sharav
Barry Hawkins vs Alan McManus
Mark Selby vs Andrew Higginson
Ali Carter vs Ben Hancorn
Sunny Akani vs Jordan Brown
Yuan SiJun vs Luo Honghao
Zhao Jianbo vs Brian Ochoiski
James Cahill vs Lyu Haotian
Fergal O’Brien vs Ashley Hugill
Matthew Stevens vs Jimmy Robertson
Iulian Boiko vs Michael White
Ben Woollaston vs Ricky Walden
Stuart Bingham vs Oliver Lines
John Higgins vs Daniel Wells
Patrick Wallace vs Farakh Ajaib
Mark Allen vs Anthony Hamilton
Allan Taylor vs Hossein Vafaei
Joe Perry vs Robbie Williams
Elliot Slessor vs Li Hang
Northern Ireland Open prize money
Last 16: £7,500
Last 32: £4,000
Last 64: £3,000
Highest break: £5,000
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