Weekend Herald - - WHAT’S ON -

English Open, Tues­day from 1am/ 7am then daily.

Seem­ingly shunted into the back­ground by the emer­gence of darts as the “must go to” sport­ing event, snooker still holds its place as one of the world’s fore­most indoor sports. Many still pre­fer the hushed at­mos­phere snooker brings com­pared with the rau­cous go­ings- on at the darts. The big snooker tour­na­ments re­main huge crowd- pullers in Eng­land and else­where. The English Open, in its sec­ond sea­son and part of the World Snooker Tour, runs for a week at the Barns­ley Metrodome of­fer­ing the 128 hope­fuls who take to the ta­ble a $ 130,000 win­ner’s cheque and, more im­por­tantly, the chance to pocket $ 1.85 mil­lion for any player who can com­plete the Home Na­tions grand slam by win­ning the English, North­ern Ir­ish, Scot­tish and Welsh Opens. This is the sev­enth rank­ing event of the 2017- 18 sea­son. China’s Liang Wenbo won the in­au­gu­ral English Open in 2016, beat­ing Judd Trump 10- 8 in the fi­nal. Wenbo takes the top seed­ing this time, with 2016 world cham­pion, Eng­land’s Mark Selby, at the other end of the draw as sec­ond seed. All the big names will be there, with the ex­pected strong English and Chi­nese con­tin­gents. Aus­tralian Neil Robert­son con­tin­ues to fly the flag for this part of the world, cur­rently ranked in the top eight. No New Zealan­ders fig­ure on the world rank­ings. South­ern United v Auck­land, Forsyth Barr Sta­dium 2pm.

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