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Rankings Update: Early Lead For Murphy

Shaun Murphy has gained an early advantage at the top of the one-year ranking list and the BetVictor Series rankings thanks to his victory in the season-opening BetVictor Championship League.

Murphy beat Mark Williams 3-0 in the final to win his 12th ranking title, and third within the past five months. The £33,000 top prize makes him the early front runner for the £150,000 BetVictor bonus, which will be based on performances in seven more events across the season, culminating at the BetVictor Welsh Open in February.

As usual, the one-year list will be used to determine the field for the three events in the Players Series. The top 32 (at the relevant cut-off point) will qualify for the World Grand Prix in Leicester in January, then the top 16 will progress to the Players Championship in Telford in February, and only the top 12 will earn a spot at the Tour Championship, which moves to a new home in Manchester in April.

Williams is in second place having earned £23,000 as runner up, followed by Chris Wakelin and Sam Craigie on £11,000.

Murphy has named climbing to the top of the official two-year list as one of his ambitions this season and he gains ground on the leaders, while remaining in seventh spot. Williams jumps above John Higgins into ninth. Ronnie O’Sullivan has been world number one since April 2022 and remains on top, albeit just £7,500 ahead of Luca Brecel, going into the second ranking event of the season which will be the BetVictor European Masters from August 22-27 in Germany.

The Race to the 2024 Masters still has a long way to run, with seven ranking events between now and the end of the UK Championship, when the top 16 seeds will earn a place at Alexandra Palace in January. Hossein Vafaei is currently in 16th place, with Gary Wilson leading the chasing pack in 17th.

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