Barry Hawkins won his first two matches in Group Four to progress to the last-32 group stage at the Championship League in Milton Keynes.
The 2013 World Championship finalist enjoyed a 3-0 win over Ben Hancorn courtesy of knocks of 59, 61 and 80 and a 3-1 victory over Jackson Page that saw him run in 145, 68 and 101 to seal his progress with one match to spare at the Marshall Arena.
The Ditton man lost his final group match 3-1 to Sam Craigie, but had already done enough to reach the second stage of the event.
“You never know what to expect with the short format but I got off to a good start and won my first two games and can look forward to coming back for the next stage,” said Hawkins.
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“It’s pleasing to top the group. It’s the first tournament of the season, so nice to get off to a good start. It would have been nice to win all the matches in the group but Sam Craigie played fantastic snooker in the last match so I have no complaints.
“It is an unbelievable job that has been done to get the calendar in place. So many people are losing their jobs so we are lucky to have some playing opportunities and a full calendar up until Christmas.”
Robert Milkins completed two 3-0 wins over Chen Zifan and 2019 World Championship semi-finalist Gary Wilson on his way to topping Group Three. He lost 3-0 to Jamie Jones, but progressed ahead of the Welshman on frame difference.
Championship League results
Monday 14 September
- Robert Milkins 3-0 Chen Zifan
- Gary Wilson 3-0 Jamie Jones
- Gary Wilson 2-2 Chen Zifan
- Robert Milkins 0-3 Jamie Jones
- Gary Wilson 0-3 Robert Milkins
- Chen Zifan 1-3 Jamie Jones
- Barry Hawkins 3-0 Ben Hancorn
- Sam Craigie 2-2 Jackson Page
- Sam Craigie 2-2 Ben Hancorn
- Barry Hawkins 3-1 Jackson Page
- Jackson Page 2-2 Ben Hancorn
- Barry Hawkins 0-3 Sam Craigie