The World Billiards Tour is set to host its biggest festival since 2019 with the Irish Open & Macau Casino World Matchplay Championship double header which begins this Friday.
Taking place at the purpose-built Snooker & Billiards Ireland Academy in Carlow, the events will welcome players from ten different nations in what will be billiards’ most significant cosmopolitan celebration since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Irish Open – a level 3 world ranking event – will be played across three days between the 1st-3rd April. A popular tournament on the calendar since its debut in 2013, the defending champion is David Causier having claimed the crown when it was last held three years ago after victory against Martin Goodwill in the final.
The title has exclusively been shared between current world champion Peter Gilchrist and Causier. Gilchrist won the opening four editions before Causier lifted it in 2017 and then Gilchrist made it five triumphs a year later. Both feature in a 46-player field scheduled to compete in the competition this time around.
The 2022 Macau Casino World Matchplay Championship is the sport’s premier short-format competition with a level 6 ranking event status attached to it.
Causier will again be looking to retain a trophy during his trip to Ireland having ousted Gilchrist 8-7 in a thrilling final in Leeds when it was last held in 2019. The in-form world number one from Teeside is surely the man to beat having won all four of the ranking events he has participated in this season.
A stellar field will assemble for billiards’ second biggest title which runs from the 4th-8th April and sees an intriguing modified format consisting of 100up frames.
The top six in the world are all in the draw – including recently crowned English national champion Rob Hall, and Darren Clark, who claimed his maiden World Billiards Tour ranking event at the Jersey Open earlier this year.
Indian trio Sourav Kothari, Dhruv Sitwala and Raja Subramanian will be welcomed back to the circuit for the first time since the 2019 World Championship in Australia. 2018 World Champion Kothari has been drawn in Group A alongside Causier.
Reigning world women’s champion Anna Lynch of Australia will also be on the baize at the SBI Academy.
There will be livestreaming of the 2022 Macau Casino World Matchplay Championship throughout the event on the World Billiards Facebook and YouTube pages.
The official hotel of both the 2022 Irish Open and Macau World Matchplay Championship events is The Talbot Hotel, Carlow.
Article by Michael Day.