Amateur Sanderson Lam will be writing a regular column here over the next few months.
I played Judd Trump in the German Masters qualifiers back in December and felt good going into the match. I was excited to play another top player after playing Stephen Maguire in the first round of the UK Championship in York the week before.
Unfortunately I started off slowly against Judd, which you can’t do against the one of the best players in the world, and in the end, lost 5-3. I did have a chance to make it 4-4 but missed a red down the rail, but I was happy the way I performed after the interval.
The match gave me more confidence going into my next game in the Haikou World Open qualifiers where I played against Dave Harold. I knew I was in for a tough game as Dave has been on the tour for a long time now so is a very experienced player. I managed to beat him 5-1 though and would place it as one of the best performances of my snooker career.
I put together four frame-winning breaks in four of the five frames I did win so I was delighted with how I played and will be hoping to take that kind of form into the final stages over in China.
The next big tournament for me is the Gdynia Open in Poland which is on the European Tour in the first week of February. Then the week after it’s the Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals and if I win that, I’ll get a place in this year’s Q-School for free.
Another possible route onto the tour next season is via the European Under-21 Championship which takes place in Romania this year. I’m just hoping all the practice and match practice pays off when this tournament comes around in March.
My other option for a place on the tour next season is entering Q-School again in May. Even though I wasn’t able to secure a tour card from last year’s event, it has provided me with some excellent opportunities which will give me an advantage going into it this year’s tournament.
I’ve been invited into the qualifiers of all the ranking events and the match practice against the professionals has made me a better player and has provided me with so much experience about what it will be like if I make it to the tour.