Following his career-best win at the 2015 Ruhr Open yesterday, world number 61 Rory McLeod became the latest player to confirm his place at this season’s Champion of Champions event, set to be held next month at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.
Although victory at the event was not enough for him to be certain of his place last night, today’s announcement that two-time defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will not be participating in Coventry this year means that McLeod is now guaranteed one of the 16 qualifying places.
The qualifying list is as follows, players numbered by qualification place, not seeding:
1. 2014 Champion of Champions – Ronnie O’Sullivan (Not entered)
2. 2014 UK Championship (Dec) – Ronnie O’Sullivan
3. 2015 Masters (Jan) – Shaun Murphy (1)
4. 2015 German Masters (Feb) – Mark Selby (2)
5. 2015 Welsh Open (Feb) – John Higgins (3)
6. 2015 Championship League Snooker (Feb) – Stuart Bingham (4)
7. 2015 Indian Open (Mar) – Michael White (5)
8. 2015 World Grand Prix (Mar) – Judd Trump (6)
9. 2015 Players Championship (Mar) – Joe Perry (7)
10. 2015 China Open (Apr) – Mark Selby
11. 2015 World Championship (May) – Stuart Bingham
12. 2015 World Cup (June) – Zhou Yuelong (8), Yan Bingtao (9)
13. 2015 Australian Open (July) – John Higgins
14. 2015 Shanghai Masters (Sept) – Kyren Wilson (10)
15. 2015 International Championship (Oct) – TBC
16. ET4 (Nov) – Shaun Murphy
17. ET5 (Dec) – Stephen Maguire (11)
18. ET6 (Feb) – Neil Robertson (12)
19. ET1 (Aug) – Barry Hawkins (13)
20. ET2 (Aug) – Ali Carter (14)
21. ET3 (Oct) – Rory McLeod (15)
22. ET4 (Nov) TBC
23. Asian Tour 3 (Jan) – Joe Perry
24. Asian Tour 1 (Oct) – TBC
25. Six Reds World Championship (Sept) – Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (16)
26. The Shoot Out (Jan) – Michael White
27. The World Seniors Championship (Oct) Mark Williams (17)
So what can still change between now and the start of the tournament in just under a month’s time?
Although there still remain three counting events to be played the above list, we now know that the top 15 (those in bold text), are guaranteed to play at the Champion of Champions. This is because of those three events, only the International Championship is classified above the Ruhr Open even won yesterday by Rory McLeod.
Nevertheless, should the International Championship be won by one of the players already qualified to play in Coventry above, the winners of the Bulgarian Open and Haining Open events would be next in line to qualify, in that order.
Should all three remaining events be won by already qualified players however, then the 16th spot would go to Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, who last month won the Six Reds World Championship in his home country.
Tickets for the Champion of Champions are still available, while you can see when the top eight seeds will be in action over at www.worldsnooker.com