A Scottish Problem at the Scottish Open

It is 13 years since Scotland hosted the Scottish Open as a ranking event, so the 10 Scottish players competing at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena this week will attract a great deal of attention.

However, unfortunately for Scottish fans, there are two first round matches which pitch one Scot against another.

Four-time world champion John Higgins, 41, ranked third in the world rankings, plays 45-year-old Alan McManus, ranked 28, in what will be the pair’s 23rd meeting.

Glasgow’s McManus came out on top in their most recent encounter, winning 13-11 in the quarter-final of the World Championship in April.

However, Higgins leads their head-to-head 12-10.

The other all-Scottish clash is a more youthful affair, between Rhys Clark, 22, and Eden Sharav, 24.

Ranked 76 and 98 respectively, neither Clark nor Sharav will be expected to get far in the tournament, but some Scottish snooker fans will feel the draw was unfair on their countrymen.

“It’s a bit of a shame that the Scots are playing each other, especially so early on,” said Neill Bo Finlayson, 22, from Fort William.

“In recent decades, we’ve done really well in the sport, so it would have been nice to see a good Scottish presence in that latter stages of the tournament here in Scotland,” he said.

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