A new era for amateur snooker will begin this weekend with the first WPBSA Q Tour of the season taking place at the Castle Snooker Club in Brighton.
Open to all amateur players across the globe, the Q Tour is the sport’s premier qualifying circuit to the World Snooker Tour. Four events are scheduled across the season with the top ranked player after their conclusion earning automatic promotion to the professional circuit. The next 16 cueists in the rankings will contest a separate playoff event which also offers a lucrative ticket to the top tier.
Over 100 players from 19 different countries will travel to the south coast of England – some looking to return to the main tour, and many aiming to get there for the first time. In addition to the crucial ranking points, there is a total prize fund of £12,000 on offer – with £2,500 of that going to the eventual champion.
The Qualifying Rounds
Friday features two qualifying rounds for unseeded players who are attempting to join the 48 seeds who are already in the last 64 main stage for the weekend.
There is a continental flavour to proceedings, highlighted by a match at the top of the draw between former Ukrainian national champion Sergiy Isaienko and current Hungarian national champion Zsolt Fenyvesi.
Ryan Thomerson (Australia), Brian Ochoiski (France), former European amateur finalist Andres Petrov (Estonia) and Keishin Kamihashi (Japan) are all in action during these rounds, as are former professionals Daniel Wells, Sean O’Sullivan and Simon Bedford. Youngster Jed Mann – a recent winner on the English Amateur Tour – also needs to navigate these preliminaries.
The Main Draw
These 16 qualifiers will line up alongside the top 40 eligible players from this year’s Q School Order of Merit list and eight junior qualifiers in the round of 64 that starts on Saturday.
Former world ranking event winners Michael White and Michael Georgiou will be looking at the Q Tour as an opportunity to get back into the big time, as will veteran former world number two Tony Knowles who picked up several impressive wins at Q School in Sheffield.
Fresh from his appearance at the Champion of Champions earlier this week, reigning world seniors champion David Lilley has a tricky opening tie against promising youngster Hamim Hussain.
Conqueror of Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Crucible Theatre in 2019, James Cahill is also hoping for an instant return to the professional ranks, as too is the experienced Rod Lawler. Meanwhile, Chinese teenagers Bai Langning and Si Jiahui will be trying to reignite their fledgling careers.
Recently crowned European under-18 champion Ben Mertens and fellow Belgian Julien Leclercq – who reached the final of both the under-18 and under-21 championships in Portugal last month – are contenders here.
Another winner of an English Amateur Tour event in Leeds a few weeks ago, Sydney Wilson will hope to keep his fine form going, whilst current teenage EPSB Open Series rankings leader Ryan Davies could meet Ross Muir in the last 32. As a top-up player, Muir reached the last 16 of the recent BetVictor English Open.
You can follow all the results from Brighton this weekend via WPBSA SnookerScores.
Entry remains open for the qualifying rounds of this season’s remaining three Q Tour events.