It has been a dramatic first two days at the Gdynia Open in Poland, the final event on the Kreativ Dental Clinic European Tour – here’s the state of play going into the last 16 on Sunday.
Click here for updates on Matt Huart’s live blog, and here for World Snooker updates, results and interviews on Twitter. Click here for the Gdynia Open match schedule.
This is the final qualifying event for the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix and the Ladbrokes Players Championship, two world ranking events which take place next month. And it’s also the last chance for players currently outside the world’s top 64 to earn a tour card via the European Tour Order of Merit.
Here’s a summary of who’s in, who’s out, and who’s a ‘maybe’ so far…
Ladbrokes World Grand Prix
Rory McLeod – needs semi-finals
The top 32 on a unique ranking list which runs from the start of this season to the Gdynia Open will qualify for the tournament in Llandudno.
Stephen Maguire is the man currently occupying 32nd place, and his third-round defeat in Gdynia has left him vulnerable. Mark Joyce is in 33rd but lost in the first round, leaving Rory McLeod best placed to jump into the top 32. He’s currently 34th and has reached the last 16, and needs two more wins to get to the semi-finals and overtake Maguire.
Mark King, Zhou Yuelong and Andrew Higginson are also into the last 16 and could yet grab a place in Llandudno by winning the title in Gdynia.
Click here for the World Grand Prix list before the Gdynia Open.
The Borderline (players still in the Gdynia Open in bold):
31 Peter Ebdon – 34,425
32 Stephen Maguire – 33,250
Rory McLeod – 30,700 – needs semi-final
Mark King – 25,475 – needs title
Zhou Yuelong – 23,475 – needs title
Andrew Higginson – 20,500 – needs title
Ladbrokes Players Championship
Thor Chuan Leong – secured tour spot and could yet make Players Championship
The top 24 on the final European Tour Order of Merit will qualify for this tournament in Manchester. They will be joined by the two finalists from the season’s only Asian Tour event – Ding Junhui and Ricky Walden – plus six players from a combination of the two Order of Merits to make up the 32 man field.
World Champion Stuart Bingham suffered a surprise 4-3 defeat against Fraser Patrick in the first round in Gdynia and he joins the likes of John Higgins, Ricky Walden and Maguire as big names who will miss out on Manchester.
Kyren Wilson’s run to the last 16 in Gdynia has given him a boost up the list and ensured his place in Manchester. Luca Brecel got to the last 32 and has dropped out of the 24 on the European Order of Merit but is set to qualify via the combined list.
Malaysia’s only pro player Thor Chuan Leong has reached the last 16 in Gdynia thanks to a 4-1 win over Ding Junhui (click here for an interview with Thor) to put himself into contention, alongside five other players who still have a chance.
European Tour Order of Merit
Andrew Higginson – 7,500
David Gilbert – 7,350
Sam Baird – 7,275
24 Kyren Wilson – 7,125
Thor Chuan Leong – 5,925
Mitchell Mann – 3,675
Zhou Yuelong – 3,675
Martin Gould – 3,150
Liam Highfield – 2,250
Ryan Causton – 1,725
Jimmy Robertson – 8,000
Luca Brecel – 6,675
Graeme Dott – 6,450
Robert Milkins – 6,200
Mark Davis – 6,150
Matt Selt – 6,000
Thor Chuan Leong – 5,925 – NEEDS QUARTER-FINAL
Zhou Yuelong – 4,475 – NEEDS SEMI-FINAL
Mitchell Mann – 3,675 – NEEDS SEMI-FINAL
Martin Gould – 3,150 – NEEDS FINAL
Liam Highfield – 2,250 – NEEDS FINAL
Ryan Causton – 1,725 – NEEDS FINAL
Anthony Hamilton – faces anxious wait
All players ranked inside the top 64 on the main ranking list at the end of the 2015/16 season will retain their tour place. The leading eight players on the European Tour Order of Merit who are not among that top 64 will earn a new two-year tour card.
Mitchell Mann performed heroics on Friday by winning three matches, including a 4-3 win over Rhys Clark from 3-0 down, to reach the last 16 in Gdynia and climb to fourth in that list of eight, ensuring he’ll remain a pro for the next two years.
Thor has jumped to the top of that list thanks to his run on Saturday. Veteran Anthony Hamilton, a two-time ranking event finalist, reached the third round on Friday and now lies precariously eighth on that list. Liam Highfield and amateur Ryan Causton are both through to the last 16 and either would go ahead of Hamilton by reaching the quarter-finals.
However that list of eight could change before the end of the season as players move in and out of the top 64 on the main ranking list.
1 Thor Chuan Leong – 5,925
2 Ian Burns – 4,050
3 Lee Walker – 3,750
4 Mitchell Mann – 3,675
5 Aditya Mehta – 3,000
6 Scott Donaldson – 2,775
7 Hammad Miah – 2,700
8 Anthony Hamilton – 2,325
9 Liam Highfield – 2,250
10 Joel Walker – 2,100
11 Zak Surety – 1,950
12 Michael Leslie – 1,950
13 Ryan Causton – 1,725
14 Peter Lines – 1,425
Make sure you follow the action on the final day in Gdynia to see some of these issues resolved, and of course find out who lifts the trophy in Poland. Tune into Eurosport or click here for live scores.
The Ladbrokes World Grand Prix runs from March 8-13 at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, for ticket details click here.
The Labrokes Players Championship runs from March 22-27 at Event City in Manchester, for ticket details click here.