Northern Ireland Open: Defending champion Trump heads quality field

Judd Trump won last year's NI Open to end a 13-month drought without a tournament success
Judd Trump won last year's NI Open to end a 13-month drought without a tournament success

World champion Judd Trump will defend his Northern Ireland Open title against a strong field at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast from 11-17 November.

The quality line-up will include last year's runner-up Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Allen, Mark Selby, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson.

NI player Allen has never been past the quarter-finals in the tournament.

Selby won the first of the Home Nations events earlier this month when he took victory in the English Open.

A £1m bonus awaits the three-time world champion if adds the Northern Ireland Open, Scottish Open and Welsh Open titles to his success in Crawley to complete a clean sweep.

World number seven Allen has struggled to make an impact at his home tournament since it was introduced to the calendar in 2016, going out 4-1 to Niu Zhuang from China in the first round last year.

He made the last eight on the inaugural staging of the tournament but lost out at the second round stage in 2017.

The Antrim cueman has been in good form in recent months however, reaching the semi-finals of three of his last four tournaments - the International Championship, the Shanghai Masters and the English Open.

World number one Trump defeated O'Sullivan 9-7 in last year's final to secure The Alex Higgins Trophy and the £70,000 first prize.

The victory ended a 13-month drought without a tournament win for the Englishman.

Local fans will also be able to cheer on tour pro Jordan Brown, and amateurs Patrick Wallace and Declan Lavery who have been handed the two spots available for national wild cards.

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