The final event of the 2021/22 Q Tour season is just over two weeks away and following results at the recent World Snooker Federation Championship now takes on added significance with no fewer than 10 players in the running for automatic qualification.
The premier qualifying circuit to the World Snooker Tour (WST), WPBSA Q Tour offers two professional places each season with the top ranked player on the Q Tour Rankings to be joined by the winner of a play-off competition contested by the next 16 ranked players after four events.
Si to Qualify as WSF Winner
Following victory for Sean O’Sullivan at the third Q Tour event in Leicester at the end of January, just three players remained in the running for top spot heading into the final event, with Si Jiahui leading the race from O’Sullivan and Event 1 winner David Lilley.
However, with first placed Si Jiahui having recently confirmed his return to the WST following his victory at the WSF Championship in Sheffield, it has been confirmed by the WPBSA and WST that he will qualify as WSF champion. This means that should he also finish top of the Q Tour Rankings after Event Four, the player finishing in second place will instead earn a professional tour card from the Q Tour Rankings.
The State of Play
With Si Jiahui now guaranteed his place, there number of players in the running for the automatic Q Tour place has increased from three to ten as follows:
- [Si Jiahui – 4,250]
- Sean O’Sullivan -3,250
- David Lilley – 2,950
- Ben Mertens – 1,500
- Michael White – 1,475
- Julien Leclercq – 1,200
- Alex Millington – 1,175
- Harvey Chandler – 1,100
- Daniel Wells – 1,100
- Alfie Lee – 1,025
- Simon Bedford – 750
With just one regular event still to be completed in Leeds from 18-20 March, it is Sean O’Sullivan who leads the way, with a further nine players who can still catch him.
Notably, however, the only player able to do so without claiming the Event Four title is David Lilley, who would pass O’Sullivan by earning £550 with a run to the quarter-finals, if O’Sullivan were to lose in the opening round.
For each of the other eight remaining players – including Simon Bedford who can tie with O’Sullivan and claim the place on countback – only the title would bring them into contention, depending on how far O’Sullivan is able to progress.
If O’Sullivan is able to reach the final, this will be enough to guarantee qualification – unless Lilley is the champion.
The Play-Off Race
In addition to the automatic main tour place to be won in Leeds, there is a second place to be won by the winner of a play-off event to be contested by the next 16 players on the end of season Q Tour Rankings.
From third placed Lilley, to a range of players currently level on 550 points, the play-off race is currently wide open with any player still able to finish inside of the top 16 with a deep run in Leeds, regardless of their performances in previous Q Tour events.
The final regular event of the WPBSA Q Tour season will take place from 18-20 March at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds. Enter online now (by 4:30pm 4 March)!