Snooker legends Steve Davis and Tony Drago lead the charge for the veterans at the Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy (UKPTC4) yesterday by qualifying for the last 16 of the event on Wednesday at the South West Snooker Academy.
Davis fought off a slow start against amateur John Whitty (narrowly coming through 4-3) to record strong wins against James Wattana (4-2) and Matthew Stevens (4-1) to set up an exciting clash with John Higgins who himself just scraped through 4-3 against new dad Ben Woollaston in the evening.
Drago had lost his last four first round matches as a professional and was looking out-of-sorts so it was even more impressive to see him record wins over fellow On-Q player Andrew Norman (4-1), David Grace (4-2) and a commanding 4-1 victory over young talent Jack Lisowski.
Malta's favourite will face Mark Selby in the last 16 who shrugged off losing his world no.1 status to Judd Trump to only drop one frame in his three matches.
It was also a good day for lower ranked players on the tour. Newcomer and SWSA-based Michael Wasley caused the shock of the day to beat Ryan Day 4-0 and then record victories over Liu Chuang (4-1) and Kurt Maflin (4-3). He will face the experienced Anthony Hamilton on Wednesday who came through a tough decider to beat Andrew Higginson 4-3.
Wasley will be joined by Preston's Ian Burns who had a tougher time of things but still qualified with wins against Adam Duffy (4-2), Xiao Guodong (4-3) and Allen Taylor (4-3) to set up a tough last 16 encounter with Australian Open champion Barry Hawkins who finished the day in a strong style beating Jimmy Robertson 4-0.
Getting through to Wednesday will be tough for today's players, with the likes of Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams, Stephen Maguire & Mark Allen all in the bottom half in the draw.