Last week saw Joe Perry win his second Asian Tour title at the 2015 Xuzhou Open, a result that saw him leap up to the top of the final Asian Order of Merit for this season.
His reward is a place in the Players Championship Grand Finals, but who else will be joining him at the lucrative event in March and who has earned a tour card for the 2015/16 season thanks to their results on the Asian Tour this term?
Players Championship Grand Finals
The top eight players on the final 2014/15 Asian Order of Merit will qualify for the 2015 Players Championship Grand Finals as follows:
- Joe Perry
- Ding Junhui
- Stuart Bingham
- Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
- Oliver Lines
- Michael Holt
- Ryan Day
- Jimmy Robertson
But although the Asian Order of Merit has now been finalised, there is still the potential for the above eight qualifiers from the list to change, if any of them are able to finish higher on the final European Order of Merit after the conclusion of the ET6 event in Gdynia, than they have above.
For example if Ryan Day were to finish 6th or above on the European list, he would instead qualify through that Order of Merit and open up an extra spot on the Asian list.
As it happens, none of the players in the top five above can surpass their Asian Order of Merit ranking following ET6, even if they were able to win the event. If either Holt, Day or Robertson were able to win in Gdynia, then 9th placed Mark Williams would potentially qualify from the Asian list, if he is not able to do so via the European list.
Four players will earn a two-year tour card for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons as a result of their final positions on the Asian Order of Merit this season as follows:
- Ross Muir
- Sean O’Sullivan
- Zhang Yong
- Cao Xinlong
These players are eligible as they are the four highest places, not already qualified for next season via any other means.
Again, the situation may yet change depending upon what happens on the main two-year ranking list between now and the end of the season, for example if higher ranked players on the Asian list such as Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Cao Yupeng or Alfie Burden were to drop out of the top 64, then they may take the above places instead.
A note also on Sean O’Sullivan, who is currently in position to earn a tour card through both the Asian and European lists. Which list would he take his place from?
This situation actually arose last season with Scott Donaldson, when it was decided that he would take his place from the European list, as that event finished first chronologically.
If the same rules were to be applied this season, then it is the Asian Tour which will take priority this time, as that series has concluded prior to the European Tour in 2015, with the Gdynia Open still to be played.