Sports

Wallace back on big stage

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

FORMER professional snooker player Patrick Wallace can't wait to compete in this week's Coral Northern Ireland Open.

Dungannon man Wallace played on the professional tour from 1994 to 2011 and reached the quarter final of the World Championship in 2001.

He earned a spot at the competition by winning the Northern Ireland amateur championship last season.

Now an administrator for his father's company, the 47-year-old admits it will be a struggle to keep his nerves in check as he steps out in front of a home crowd.

"It will be nerve-racking because I thought my days of mixing it with the big boys were gone, having not played on tour for five years," says Patrick.

"There is a fantastic history of snooker in Northern Ireland so it is brilliant to have a big tournament back here and for me to have the chance to play in it."

If Wallace wins his opening match, he could face another local favourite, Mark Allen, in round two.

"To play Mark would be a fabulous occasion, but I have to concentrate on my first game," said Wallace.

With 128 players in the field and eight tables in the arena in the early stages, the Coral Northern Ireland Open will see the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Judd Trump, John Higgins and Jimmy White compete for the 70,000 top prize.

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