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Riga Masters Qualifiers 2017 Day One preview and order of play: New season commences in Preston

Jimmy White begins his 38th season as a professional on Wednesday (credit:World Snooker)

Jimmy White headlines the action on day one of the 2017 Riga Masters Qualifiers as the 2017/18 snooker season gets underway at the Preston Guild Hall on Wednesday.

The Whirlwind is up against Welshman Jak Jones in what will be his first match since receiving an invitational two-year wildcard after falling off the tour at the end of last season.

However, after being given the opportunity to prolong his 37-year professional career, the 55-year-old will be eager to do himself justice in season number 38, starting at the venue where he won the UK Championship back in 1992.

Standing in the way of White is world number 96 Jones, who reached the Last 16 of this event 12 months ago – beating Ding Junhui along the way – as well as the Shoot Out.

The 23-year-old is beginning the second year of his tour card and, therefore, will be looking to climb the rankings to give himself the best chance of tour survival come the end of the campaign.

Meanwhile, 1997 World champion Ken Doherty also starts life as an invitational wildcard when he locks horns with World Seniors winner Peter Lines, who marks his return to the circuit after falling off in 2015/16.

Stuart Bingham begins his 2017/18 campaign against Li Hang (Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Former Crucible king Stuart Bingham is the highest-ranked player in action on the opening day. The world number nine is up against Li Hang while Martin Gould, the other top-16 player on display, faces Kurt Maflin.

Alan McManus will be hoping to put a fairly poor 2016/17 campaign behind him when he takes on William Lemons, as 2015 finalist Tom Ford begins his quest to go one better against Hamza Akbar.

Elsewhere, Chinese prodigy Yan Bingtao starts his mission to build on a very impressive debut season, which saw him climb to 56th in the world rankings.

The 17-year-old locks horns with veteran Andrew Higginson, while compatriot Zhao Xintong is up against former top-16 player Mark Davis.

The 2017/18 season breaks off at 10am BST at the Preston Guild Hall, with all matches contested over the best of seven frames in the opening round of the 2017 Riga Masters.

Riga Masters 2017 Schedule

Wednesday May 31

 

First Round


10am

1 Ian Preece v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 

2 Michael Georgiou v Sanderson Lam           

3 Ashley Hugill v Stuart Carrington    

5 Martin Gould v Kurt Maflin  

6 William Lemons v Alan McManus   

7 Thor Chuan Leong v Eden Sharav 

 

1pm

8 Jimmy White v Jak Jones   

9 Gary Wilson v Hao Hu        

10 Ken Doherty v Peter Lines

11 Josh Boileau v Robin Hull 

14 Zhang Anda v Allan Taylor

 

4pm

15 Liam Highfield v Hammad Miah    

16 Tom Ford v Hamza Akbar 

17 Jimmy Robertson v Martin O'Donnell        

20 Yan Bingtao v Andrew Higginson 

21 Stuart Bingham v Li Hang 

24 Jamie Jones v Fergal O'Brien       

 

7pm

18 Declan Brennan v John J Astley   

19 Duane Jones v Jamie Curtis-Barrett         

22 Zhao Xintong v Mark Davis           

23 Sam Craigie v Soheil Vahedi        

25 Chris Wakelin v Matthew Stevens


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Riga Masters Qualifiers 2017 Day One preview and order of play: New season commences in Preston

Jimmy White headlines the action on day one of the 2017 Riga Masters Qualifiers as the 2017/18 snooker season gets underway at the Preston Guild Hall on Wednesday.

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