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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Monday, 17 September, 2001, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Regal Scottish Masters preview
John Higgins is yet to win in his homeland
John Higgins is yet to win in his homeland
BBC Sport's Clive Everton looks ahead to this week's Regal Scottish Masters where John Higgins is aiming to win his first tournament on Scottish soil.

Live coverage begins on BBC One Scotland at 1410BST on Tuesday 18 September and continues on BBC One and BBC Two Scotland throughout the week.

John Higgins, Scotland's number one, has never won a tournament in his native land.

Twice runner-up in the Regal Scottish Masters and winner of the Champion's Cup at Brighton last month, he hopes for a double celebration this week.

At the forefront of his thoughts is the imminent birth of his first child, expected on Thursday.

Punctuality or even early arrival would be appreciated, for Higgins is due to play his first match, a quarter-final, on Friday evening against either Stephen Hendry or Jimmy White.

A man of intense family loyalty, the 1998 world champion withdrew from the quarter-finals of a world ranking event at Telford last October so that he could be best man at his brother's wedding.

Stephen Hendry is going for his fourth title
Stephen Hendry is going for his fourth title
He contemplated withdrawal from this week's event but his wife, Denise, would not hear of it.

Out of the 63,000 first prize would certainly, he could certainly buy the baby a new bonnet.

The total prize fund of 200,000, a record for a 12-man event, has risen incrementally since 1989 when Ian Doyle revived the tournament under the sponsorship of Regal after a year's lapse.

This week, after 11 years at Motherwell, he takes the event back to its home from 1981 to 1987, when it was sponsored by Langs, the whisky distillers.

In those days, the venue was known as the Skean Dhu Hotel. Now, it is the Glasgow Thistle.

Ronnie O'Sullivan, who has won the event twice in the last three years, is the defending champion; Stephen Hendry hopes to win it for the fourth time; Ken Doherty for the third; and Matthew Stevens for the second.

Northern Ireland's Patrick Wallace, surprise quarter-finalist in his debut last spring, won the qualifying competition to win the 12th and last place.

Draw: Ronnie O'Sullivan v Matthew Stevens or Paul Hunter; Ken Doherty v Peter Ebdon or Marco Fu; John Higgins v Stephen Hendry or Jimmy White; Mark Williams v Stephen Lee or Patrick Wallace.

See also:

12 Sep 01 |  Other Sports
Hendry sets sights on 7m
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