MENTOR Mark Williams beat young pretender Jackson Page in the third round of the Scottish Open – and bought the 19-year-old dinner to ease the pain, writes Will Jennings.

Cwm’s Williams, 26 years Page’s senior, toppled the Ebbw Vale prodigy 4-1 in Milton Keynes in an eagerly anticipated battle of the Welshmen.

Williams and Page are good friends away from the baize and can be regularly seen on south Wales golf courses when their practice sessions come to an end.

Page, the world No.71, lamented a poor spectacle at the Marshall Arena but was looking forward to being treated to a spot of dinner before making the journey home.

“It wasn’t very good from both of us,” he said. “It was just one of those weird games – losing position when you shouldn’t be and missing balls when you shouldn’t.

"There wasn’t much great about it but there’s not much we can do playing each other, and it’s a bit awkward. It is what it is and we’ll just go for some dinner now!

“We’ll go for something now before I head home – I won’t be swearing at him much. He’s paying, so [we can have] whatever he wants!

“We’re together every day practicing or having a game of golf. It’s the first time we played each other and everyone back home was raving about it!

"It wasn’t a great game, which was a shame, but it is what it is.

“They’re saying it was the student against the mentor and time [for Mark] to pass the torch, and stuff like that.

“In the summer, we’d practice all day and have a game of golf at night, but it’s a bit awkward at the moment because of the early nights.

"We have a game now and again and it’s nice to pass time and get a bit of fresh air.

“He plays the game differently to anyone and if you can pick up certain things from Mark, especially the safety, shot selection and the way he goes around the table, you’re golden. He’s brilliant.”

Williams and Page had never met on the match table and a scrappy affair ensued in the last 32 bout.

Neither player made any real breaks of note but a fourth frame visit of 64 from the three-time world champion helped haul him over the line.

Page’s enthusiasm is infectious and he regularly embarks on marathon practice sessions alongside Pontycymer potter Ryan Day.

And the South Wales up-and-comer will continue to hit the baize hard over the festive period as he bids to reach a maiden ranking event quarter-final in the new year.

“Nothing will change even though it’s Christmas,” he added.

“I might have a couple of days off, but I’ll still be on the table ready for whenever the next one is.”

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