Former UK Champions Stephen Maguire and Jimmy White go head-to-head in the third qualifying round in Sheffield on Monday.
Both players know what it takes to claim glory in the season’s first Triple Crown event, having done so in 2004 and 1992 respectively, and are vying to move a step closer to reaching the main stages of this year’s revamped competition.
This year’s UK Championship mirrors the qualification criteria of the World Championship, with the top 16 seeds joined in the main event by a further 16 qualifiers.
The final stages will then be held at the York Barbican from November 12-20, with the prize fund having been boosted from £1,009,000 to £1,205,0000, with the first prize up from £200,000 to £250,000.
As world number 25, Maguire starts his campaign in the Third Round of qualifying and is out to kick-start what has been a below-par season to date.
The Scot, who has been an ever-present in this event for the last 20 years, reached the Third Round of the recent Northern Ireland Open but failed to qualify for the European Masters, British Open and English Open.
As well as his memorable triumph in York 18 years ago, Maguire also finished runner-up in 2007 and 2019 and has a strong affinity with the historic event.
White, meanwhile, continues to compete with the elite at the age of 60 and heads into the contest on the back of successive 6-0 whitewash wins.
The Whirlwind began by thrashing Brazil’s Victor Sarkis, before repeating the feat against Mitchell Mann on Sunday.
Now ranked world number 89, White’s competitive appetite remains as strong as ever, and he is eyeing what would be a huge scalp against an opponent who has won eight of their last ten meetings.
Maguire ran out a 4-0 winner in their most recent encounter at the 2019 Scottish Open and White has not tasted success over ‘The Maverick’ since 2001.
The match gets under way from 7.30pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 frames, with either Li Hang or Dominic Dale awaiting the winner in the final qualifying round on Wednesday.
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