At the end of another busy day in Sheffield, Jamie Jones, Zak Surety, Oliver Lines and Ben Hancorn all earned promotion to the World Snooker Tour as qualifiers from the second event of 2020 Q School.
Two-time ranking event semi-finalist and former world number 29 Jones denied Adrian Rosa, Raymond Fry and Haydon Pinhey to set up a final round clash with 2018 Shoot Out winner Michael Georgiou. With the aid of a 132 break in frame two, the Welshman won 4-0 to secure his return to the big time. The result means that Georgiou will be resigned to the amateur ranks having already been eliminated from event three.
A four-year absence from the top tier is over for Surety. The 28-year-old Englishman got the better of fellow ex-professional Leo Fernandez 4-1 in the deciding round to guarantee a two-year spell on the main circuit.
It was the second consecutive night that Fernandez fell at the final hurdle and with no more action to look forward to on Sunday, he will now set his sights on the new upcoming Q Tour, although he may receive invites to various professional events as he currently sits top of the Order of Merit.
Following his relegation here last month during the Betfred World Championship Qualifiers, former EBSA European under-21 champion Lines swiftly returns to the sport’s limelight.
On his way to making the grade he saw off Challenge Tour event winner Dean Young, Australia’s Ryan Thomerson, two-time ranking event winner Michael White, French youngster Brian Ochoiski and then three-time graduate Paul Davison in a high stakes all-Yorkshire affair.
Whilst the other three successful competitors re-established their status, fulfilling a lifelong ambition to turn professional for the first time is reigning English amateur champion Ben Hancorn.
The 38-year-old from Portishead continues a recent trend of English amateur winners immediately appearing on the World Snooker Tour following in the footsteps of Billy Castle (2017), Joe O’Connor (2018) and Brandon Sargeant (2019).
Throughout the event Hancorn was in fine form dropping just three frames in total, recording whitewash triumphs against former top 16 star Dean Reynolds, Chen Feilong in the penultimate round and then Kuldesh Johal to achieve his dream.
The final quartet of two-year WST cards are on offer to those who emerge from the third event of this year’s school on Sunday at the English Institute of Sport.
Article by Michael Day.