The Cazoo UK Championship represents the last chance for players to add prize money to their ranking totals ahead of the crucial seeding cut-off to determine places at this season’s Cazoo Masters.
As always, the world’s top 16 players after the UK Championship will qualify to play at snooker’s most historic invitational event next January.
The counting period for the tournament includes all prize money earned at ranking events from the 2019 Scottish Open up to and including the 2021 UK Championship.
The latest Race to the Masters standings, already taking into account the prize money still to be removed from the official world rankings from the 2019 UK Championship won by Ding Junhui, shows the live standings and the true picture of how each player is looking ahead of this year’s UK tournament.
State of Play
Analysis of the standings shows that the top 14 players on the ‘Race to the Masters’ table are now mathematically certain of qualification.
This includes current 12th ranked player Yan Bingtao, who will be the top seed for the tournament as its defending champion, while Mark Selby will be seeded second as reigning world champion and world number one.
Although Stephen Maguire, Barry Hawkins, Stuart Bingham and Jack Lisowski could at first glance be overtaken were results to go against them, the fact that Anthony McGill and Zhou Yuelong are seeded to meet at the last 32 stage in York, means that they are in fact safe, as both would need to progress further to challenge the top 14.
The first player who could therefore miss out is two-time ranking event winner Anthony McGill, who if he were to lose his first round match to Iulian Boiko at the UK Championship would be overtaken if two of the following scenarios were to unfold:
- Zhou Yuelong were to reach the final
- Any other below below Zhou were to win the title
McGill would also guarantee qualification by reaching the last 16 of the UK Championship.
Currently ‘on the bubble’ and occupying the 16th and final qualification spot is Zhou Yuelong, who would miss out if he were to lose to compatriot Chen Zifan in the opening round and any of the following were to happen:
Zhou would also guarantee his position by reaching the final, which would see him overtake McGill for 15th position as the positions stands.
Daily updates on the latest standings will be published here at wpbsa.com during the course of the UK Championship as the final 16 are set…