Barry Hawkins in fine form at Australian Goldfields Open
Barry Hawkins defeated Dechawat Poomjaeng 5-1 in first game of the Australian Goldfields Open
Barry Hawkins began the defence of his Australian Goldfields Open title with an emphatic 5-1 win over Dechawat Poomjaeng to state his intent on winning the competition for the second successive time.
Hawkins enjoyed the best season of his career last year, claiming his first ranking title in Bendigo before going on a run which led him into the final of the World Championships.
The left-hander lost his opening frame against Poomjaeng before going on to dominate the remainder of the match, knocking in breaks of 61, 80 and 55 in taking the last five frames.
"I was suffering with a cold today but it didn't affect my snooker, and I've got a few days until my next match so hopefully I'll be fine by then," said Hawkins.
"I don't feel any more pressure as defending champion, I'm just enjoying the game at the moment. It's great to be back in Australia and I'll try my best to retain the title."
Hawkins will face Tom Ford in the last 16 after he edged Ryan Day 5-3 in a tight encounter that saw top breaks of 53, 64 and 128.
The 2011 champion Stuart Bingham made it through with an easy 5-1 win over Noppon Saengkham, while Jamie Cope also progressed after coming from behind to beat Martin Gould 5-4.
Both professional players that found themselves up against local wild cards came through relatively unscathed.
Michael White thumped Shaun Dalitz 5-0 with a top break of 122 while Mike Dunn came from 3-1 and 4-3 down before edging out Steve Mifsud 5-4.
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