Ballrun ready to face Chinese duo as season gets underway in Preston

STUART BINGHAM admits he is “itching” to return to action as his season gets underway with qualifiers against two Chinese players in Preston this week. 

Ballrun breaks off against Niu Zhuang at 7pm on Tuesday (July 3) for a spot at the Riga Masters, and then faces Zhang Andu at 7pm on Friday with a place at the World Open up for grabs.

The world No 13 has enjoyed an extended summer break with his family at home in Essex and feels refreshed and focused heading into the new campaign.

Bingham said: “I’ve had a nice summer and played a bit of golf in recent weeks but now I am itching to get back on the table.

“I don’t think I have played Niu before but I recognise him and I will not be underestimating him of course.

“I have played Andu a couple of times and I used to practice with him at the Grove in Romford. He’s a good player and probably a bit underestimated.

“With the Chinese players I have found that they can play some bad matches and lose focus, but they can also pull great performances and results out of the bag at any time.

“But as always the key for me will just be concentrating on my own game.”

Bingham also revealed he has had a chance to get some useful work done with his coach Terry Griffiths this summer.

He added: “I saw him in Gloucester a couple of weeks ago and we had a bite to eat and spoke about my game and career, and the next day worked on some things on the table.

“He his a very funny guy when you get to know him and a real character, but he also really knows his stuff so when he talks you listen.

“It’s great to be working with Terry again for this season and I hope it will help with putting some good results together.”