China’s Zhao Xintong continued to build his reputation as an emerging star with a 5-2 victory over Barry Pinches to reach the third qualifying round of the Australian Goldfields Open.
Zhao, who was runner-up in the World Amateur Championship in 2013, just missed out on a place on the tour at Q School, but the 18-year-old is likely to be offered a place in most ranking events this season anyway having finished second on the Q School ranking list.
And he is now within two wins of a trip to Bendigo in Australia thanks to wins over Kuldesh Johal and Pinches in Crawley. He won the first four frames against Pinches before his opponent hit back with breaks of 110 and 100 to recover to 4-2. But a run of 51 from Zhao in frame seven helped him set up a match with Zhang Anda or Daniel Wells.
Rory McLeod took a 70-minute opening frame on the way to a 5-2 win over Nigel Bond while Michael Wasley made the highest break of the qualifiers so far as a 133 helped him beat Vinnie Calabrese 5-1.
Joel Walker top scored with 88 in a 5-2 win over Jamie Cope while Jack Lisowski beat Sydney Wilson by the same scoreline.