Bingham makes winning start
Stuart Bingham won the first event of the new snooker season with a hard fought 4-3 victory over Stephen Lee at the Players Tour Championship in Zhangjiagang, China.
World number 16 Bingham beat home favourite Ding Junhui in the quarter finals on his way to victory in the first of three Asian events on the Players Tour calendar, pocketing £10,000 in the process. He has also booked his place at the PTC Grand Finals in March.
Favourite Mark Williams was surprisingly eliminated 4-1 in the round of 16 by Michael White, a player ranked over 50 places below him.
The next Asian leg will see players return to China to visit Yixing in September, just a week after the crucial Shanghai Masters.
Wuxi Classic opens ranking event calendar
Next month, Bingham will move on to defend the Australian Goldfields Open title he won last year, where he has been drawn to play Matthew Selt in round one.
Before that, all the big name players will compete in the season’s first ranking event, the Wuxi Classic, which got underway on 25 June. A good run in tournaments such as this are vital for players who want to qualify automatically for the prestigious World Snooker Championship. Mark Selby won the 2011 event, beating Ali Carter 9-7 in the final.
The competition has already thrown up one surprise, with former world champion Neil Robertson trounced 5-1 by qualifier Jamie Burnett. Meanwhile, Welshman Matthew Stevens has been forced to withdraw with a bad back.
With top players such as defending champion and world number one Selby, Shaun Murphy, Judd Trump and Stephen Maguire all in action, it is impossible to predict who will win. The final will take place on 1 July.
- End of season rankings and money list revealed
- O'Sullivan secures sensational victory
- World Championship quarter finals get underway
- Former champions fall as O'Sullivan wins
- World Snooker Championship draw
- World championship seedings announced
- Dominant Ding wins PTC Grand Final
- Rocket returns for World Championship
- Maguire secures Welsh Open title
- Carter wins German Masters