THE eyes of the snooker world will be on Bendigo this week when the Australian Goldfields Open is held.
The world ranking tournament starts on Monday at the Bendigo Stadium and finishes on Sunday night when the final is played.
The tournament will open with a pair of wildcard round matches on Monday morning, pitting Andrew Higginson against Western Australia’s Matthew Bolton and Dominic Dale taking on Victoria’s Johl Younger.
Among the players ranked top 10 in the world who will be vying for this year’s crown in Bendigo are Australia’s Neil Robertson (No.3); Barry Hawkins (No.5); Judd Trump (No.6); Shaun Murphy (No.7); Mark Allen (No.9) and Ricky Walden (No.10).
Robertson will have the home-crowd support behind him as he chases his first Australian Goldfields Open title.
Robertson was beaten in last year’s final by Hong Kong’s Marco Fu, who won’t be back this year to defend his title.
Tickets for Monday’s day one action cost $25 for the 9am and 7pm session, or $40 for both.
• Monday’s day one draw:
9am: Andrew Higginson v Matthew Bolton (wildcard).
9am: Dominic Dale v Johl Younger (wildcard).
Noon: Mark Allen v Fergal O’Brien.
Noon: Matthew Stevens v Luca Brecel.
2pm: Robert Milkins v Liang Wenbo.
2pm: Ryan Day v Mark Joyce.
7pm: John Higgins v Tom Ford.
7pm: Ricky Walden v Marcus Campbell.