Two really good steals from Sam to start his first round match against John Higgins saw Sam take a 2-0 lead. Sam was then gifted a trio of opportunities in frame three before he made it three steals in a row to lead 3-0.....Sam's key shot that started the final visit was a bravely played slow pot to the center pocket from a tight angle. At this point in the match Sam's pot success was an impressive 96%. Frame four saw a couple of early missed pots from both players before Higgins took the bull by the horns to peg one back to trail 3-1. In frame five Sam was presented with another early opportunity to fashion a decent break but after a couple of nervy shots he failed to take advantage. Higgins responded with a solid 83 break to make it 3-2 to Sam.
Getting over the line against players of Higgins pedigree is as tough as it gets. However, after a poor safety shot from Higgins Sam recovered his composure to make a 56 break. Sam left Higgins with five reds in the open and all colours available and you could see another frame going the way of the former champion. However, Sam was given one last chance and he took it well to win the match 4-2........follow the Baird!
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