A total of 113 players representing 18 different nations are set to take part in the third Q Tour event of the 2021/22 season this weekend at The Winchester in Leicester.
The penultimate leg of the campaign before the final rankings are calculated, the top placed competitor after event four will earn an automatic two-year professional tour card, whilst the next 16 players on the list will all qualify for the end-of-season playoffs where another card is guaranteed.
Si Jiahui currently enjoys a handsome lead at the top of the rankings having reached the final of the opening event in Brighton and then winning Event Two in Llanelli. The Chinese teenager – who is looking to bounce back to the sport’s top tier – will discover his last 64 opponent after Friday’s qualifying phase that consists of unseeded players.
Reigning world seniors champion David Lilley is also aiming to get back into the big time; the Event 1 winner sits second in the rankings and will also await his opposition for Saturday.
Michael White was pipped by Si on home soil before Christmas – having come back from 4-0 down to force a decider at 4-4 – but the two-time ranking event winner sits third and has put himself within striking distance of automatic promotion. White will also wait for his opening assignment.
Elsewhere in the draw, last weekend’s Snooker Shoot Out quarter-finalist Billy Castle could meet WWS British Open champion Nutcharut Wongharuthai. The young Thai ace won her second World Women’s ranking event at this venue just a fortnight ago.
England’s Daniel Womersley was the other amateur player to reach the last eight of the Shoot Out at the Morningside Arena a few days ago, and he’ll hope it’s another fruitful trip to Leicester, although he has a difficult opening test against fellow Englishman and former national under-18 champion Jenson Kendrick.
Other notable last 64 ties include former world number two Tony Knowles and ranking event semi-finalist Eden Sharav, an all-teenage clash between Robbie McGuigan and Liam Graham, and former Crucible qualifier Leo Fernandez up against youngster Florian Nuessle, who recently won his fifth consecutive national championship in Austria.
Former European amateur champion Harvey Chandler plays Josh Thomond – the two met in the final of an English amateur tour event in Northampton last weekend with Chandler coming out on top. In-form Sydney Wilson – leader of those English amateur rankings – will be seeking more success. He could meet Jamie Curtis Barrett first up, Curtis Barrett recently won through to this season’s English Amateur Championship final.
Belgium’s European under-18 champion Ben Mertens and Wales’ European under-21 champion Dylan Emery are both also scheduled to appear, as too is European amateur champion Oliver Brown from England.
Article by Michael Day.