Following 10 days of action at the UK Championship in York, the final places at the 2017 Masters have now been decided.
Heading into the tournament, the likes of Ricky Walden, Anthony McGill and Martin Gould were at the head of the chasing pack hoping to break into the top 16, but as of the quarter-finals only Luca Brecel and Jamie Jones remained in with an outside chance of doing so.
As it was, both players were to fall at the quarter-final stages, meaning that the following 16 players will now complete the field at the Alexandra Palace:
- Ronnie O’Sullivan
- Mark Selby
- Stuart Bingham
- John Higgins
- Judd Trump
- Ding Junhui
- Shaun Murphy
- Neil Robertson
- Joe Perry
- Mark Allen
- Barry Hawkins
- Liang Wenbo
- Ali Carter
- Marco Fu
- Mark Williams
- Kyren Wilson
Looking at the field, the usual suspects are present at the top of the rankings, while Ronnie O’Sullivan will be installed as top seed as defending champion. As ever, it is a strong field, with every Masters champion since the late Paul Hunter (whose name the trophy now bears), returns to battle it out for the £200,000 top prize.
Missing out from this year’s players are Stephen Maguire (absent for the first time since 2004) and Ricky Walden after four consecutive appearances himself. They will be replaced by Ali Carter, back up into the top 16 following his victory at the World Open earlier in the season and also Kyren Wilson, who will make his Masters debut.
Two-time champion Mark Williams will be back for a second successive year after missing out in 2014 and 2015, while 2016 runner-up Barry Hawkins will also return after consolidating his ranking position with his final run in Belfast last month.
As in previous seasons, the top eight in the seeding list following the UK Championship will be randomly drawn against the players seeded 9-16 in the opening round draw. At the time of writing, we do not know for certain who will be in the top eight, with Marco Fu still in with a chance of rising up the rankings if he can take the title in York.
Once his position is known, either on Saturday evening should he lose in the semi-finals, or Sunday if he can go on to lift the title, the list will be finalised ahead of the first round draw.