Nineteen-year-old snooker prodigy Dylan Emery has vowed to continue practicing following his impressive Welsh Open debut.
Emery, from Caerphilly, reached the second round of the competition, which was held behind closed doors at the Celtic Manor Resort, near Newport, last month.
Currently an amateur, Emery earned a wildcard place in the tournament, which he has regularly attended as a fan in years gone by.
He beat the world number 33 – China’s Lu Ning – 4-3 in the first round of the tournament, but was beaten 4-1 in the second round by Joe Perry, who is ranked 19th in the world.
Emery, who practices at the Aber and Senghenydd Ex-Servicemens Club, has his eyes set firmly on turning professional and competing alongside the biggest names in the sport on a regular basis.
Speaking to Caerphilly Observer after the competition, Emery said: “The experience was mad. It was my first time in the competition and I want to be in there every year.
“Being a home tournament, it was weird having no fans.
“I would have loved to have had friends and family there as it’s only half an hour down the road, but we’re lucky to have tournaments at the moment and I was just happy to be there.”
He added: “My first performance wasn’t too bad. My second performance was a bit scrappy, but Joe Perry is a top player who has been in the game for a long time. I take no shame in losing to him.”
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The competition got underway on February 15, with a minute silence held in memory of the late Doug Mountjoy, who died earlier this month aged 78.
The tournament, which was aired live on BBC and Eurosport, came to an end on February 21 – with world number 81 Jordan Brown causing an upset by beating six-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final.
Following his debut Welsh Open campaign, Emery will now turn his focus to Q-School, which is an amateur competition serving as a qualification process for the professional World Snooker Tour.
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