Jimmy White happy to qualify for Northern Ireland Open in Belfast

Jimmy White is looking forward to the Northern Ireland Open after sealing his place in the main draw at the first BetVictor Home Nations event of the season.

The 59-year-old beat highly-rated Chinese star Yuan Sijun 4-3 to book his ticket to Belfast, producing a brilliant 132 aggregate clearance in the deciding frame.

white says Billiards World Tour“I had to go there anyway to work for Eurosport, so winning this game and being involved as a player means I’ll be expecting it even more.

“I’ve been going to the Waterfront since I was 17 or 18, playing the great late Alex Higgins.

“I’ve played many exhibitions against Alex there, as well as tournaments, and I would say it’s one of the top five places we play.

“There is always a good atmosphere there.”

White has had a promising start to the new season, also qualifying for the recent BetVictor European Masters before losing 5-3 to Dominic Dale in the last 64, and he will be hoping to continue his good form into the new season.

“When you don’t get any wins it becomes a lot harder to cross the line, so hopefully I can move on from there,” White added.

“It’s all about confidence in this game, and if you start winning it helps take the pressure off.”

The Northern Ireland Open will take place October 16-23 and will feature Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, John Higgins and defending champion Mark Allen.

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