Dramatic Start to British Open

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There has been plenty going on at the start of the British Open and Graeme Dott and Alfie Burden could make their own mark.

Graeme Dott

There’s been plenty of drama on the opening two days of British Open action. John Higgins rattled in a superb 147-maximum break in a 3-2 win over Alexander Ursenbacher to delight the Leicester fans.

Judd Trump just about held on to his world number one ranking, when beating Mitchell Mann 3-2 in the opening round and the Ace will be hoping for a good showing this week.

There was plenty of tension when former partners Mark Allen and Reanne Evans went head-to-head on Monday night and not just because the match went to a final frame. Credit to both players for performing under difficult circumstances and the Pistol could be worth keeping a close eye on now the pressure has been relieved.

The random draw element brings another level of excitement and Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy will be cursing their luck after being paired together.

In terms of punting It’s probably wise to be conservative with stakes given the short best-of-five-frame format in the opening four rounds.

Short Format Suits Dott

Graeme Dott’s first-round clash against Martin Gould has the makings of a cracking contest and it’s a pick ‘em affair.

This match could easily go either way, but it’s a little bit of a surprise to see that Dott isn’t the clear favourite with both priced at 10/11.

The Larkhall cueman is a top-level performer on his day and he showed that when lifting the World Championship crown in 2006. The Pocket Dynamo has also made two Crucible finals, the latest as recently as 2010. Dott is a versatile performer and his game is also well suited to short-format tournaments.

The Scot made the final of the Championship League two years ago and followed that with a last-four appearance last term. Dott has a strong record in the one-frame Shootout, reaching the final on one occasion and the semi-finals three times.

Gould is an excellent break-builder when the confidence is flowing, but he had a pretty low-key end to last season and he could be vulnerable.

Too Big a Burden for Taylor

Another match that’s worth betting consideration is Alfie Burden’s clash with Allan Taylor. This is hardly a blockbuster, but Burden is too big at 1/1.

It’s probably fair to say that the London potter’s talent hasn’t always been evident in his results and he did fall off tour at the end of last season. However, Burden bounced back at Q School and that feeling of winning matches could serve him well.

Allan Taylor is a limited performer and that is evident in the fact that he has never made it past the third round of a ranking event. The Albino Assassin lost his opening match in four of the nine professional tournaments he played in last term and the same fate could await him on Wednesday.

Burden should have the edge in the scoring department and that could prove the difference.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

An experienced sports journalist, Henry’s knowledge spans across a number of different areas, including darts and snooker.
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