Stephen Maguire has today strengthened his claim on a place at next month’s Dafabet Masters with a 6-4 victory against Mark Davis.
With closest challenger Ryan Day having lost at the last 64 stage to Dechawat Poomjaeng on Sunday, Maguire knew that victory against Davis would see him climb to 15th provisionally and take a big step towards a 12th consecutive appearance at snooker’s biggest invitation event.
Maguire can now only be denied by a combination of two players below him making it to the final this weekend, the most likely on paper in terms of ranking and draw placement being David Gilbert from the top half and Matt Selt the bottom.
Now in most danger therefore is Michael White, who drops to 16th provisionally following Maguire’s victory.
For the Welshman to miss out, David Gilbert, Martin Gould, Matt Selt or Liang Wenbo would have to reach the final in York, while Peter Ebdon, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Luca Brecel, Jamie Burnett, Mark Joyce, Dechawat Poomjaeng, Tom Ford, Joe Swail and David Grace would need to win the title.