Snooker: Walker vows to put friendship on hold

Sheffield starlet Joel Walker.
Sheffield starlet Joel Walker.
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Joel Walker has fired a warning shot to his Yorkshire compatriot Peter Lines, insisting that their friendship will be put on hold when the duo meet in the China Open qualifiers today.

The young Sheffield potter takes on the world number 57 at the Capital Venue in Gloucester this afternoon.

Walker is aiming to get his own back on Lines, having narrowly lost to the Leeds cueman in their only meeting back in June 2012.

“Peter beat me 5-4 in the qualifying rounds of the Wuxi Classic on the black ball after needing two snookers in the decider,” Walker told The Star. “It was a tough one to stomach.

“That match was a good learning curve for me because that was my first tournament as a professional.

“I am pretty good friends with Peter off the table. He is a nice bloke and is a very good match player.

“Our friendship will go out of the window when we are at the table. All I’m thinking is that it would be nice to get a win over him.”

Despite being ranked 27 places below Lines, Walker is convinced he can cause an upset.

The 19-year-old said: “I feel confident in my own game. I don’t tend to focus too much on my opponent. If I concentrate on what I can control and play the balls, the result will take care of itself.”

All 128 players will play one match in the world ranking event, with the 64 winners to go through to the final stages in Beijing, which run from March 31 to April 6.

Mitchell Travis lost 5-1 to Jamie Jones on Sunday.