Rory McLeod’s triumph at the Ruhr Open last weekend marked the halfway point of the 2015/16 Kreativ Dental European Tour series, with three more events to be played this season.
Earning a career-best single prize of £18,750 with his triumph against China’s Tian Pengfei, Rory climbs up to third place on the revised European Order of Merit, ensuring that the 44-year-old is now certain of a place at the Players Championship next March.
Perhaps even more significant for Rory however is that he has also climbed 12 places to 49th in the world rankings, significantly strengthening his position inside the group of top 64 players who will retain their main tour places at the end of the season.
Better still is the fact that even if he were to slip out of the top 64 by the end of the season, his position on the European Order of Merit would comfortably be enough to earn him a new two-year tour card by that route.
As in previous seasons, the top eight players at the end of the season on the European Order of Merit, not already qualified for the main tour next season by finishing inside the top 64 on the main two-year world ranking list, will receive a two-year tour card from the start of 2016/17.
Despite failing to progress beyond the second round in Germany, Stuart Carrington (£3,525), Ian Burns (£3,000) and Thor Chuan Leong (£2,775) remain the three best placed players to earn a fresh two-year tour card at the end of the season.
It proved to be a good weekend for former World Championship quarter-finalist Lee Walker, who won two matches to take his total to £2,325 and put himself into a strong position, with Scott Donaldson hot on his heels with £2,250 to his name.
Also doing their prospects no harm at all in Germany were Aditya Mehta and amateur Hammad Miah, who each made it to the last 32 stage, adding £900 to their respective totals.
It was a similar story for Mitchell Mann and Gerard Greene, who are currently tied for what would be the final qualifying place as it stands on £1,425.
Of course all of these players will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Rory McLeod and earn enough prize money in all ranking events between now and the conclusion of the Betfred World Championship next May to break into the top 64 and retain their tour cards that way.
That will not be possible for all however and so all of the players currently on the second year of a two-year tour card will be targeting the next three Kreativ Dental European Tour events to make certain of their tour positions for next season, long before we get to the Crucible.
The Kreativ Dental European Tour continues with the Bulgarian Open from the 4th November 2015.
Visit www.worldsnooker.com for information on how to buy tickets.