Field Almost Set For Players Championship
Following Neil Robertson’s whitewash victory against Iran’s Hossein Vafaei at the ManBetX Welsh Open yesterday (Saturday), all but one of the players to compete at next month’s Coral Players Championship in Preston have now been confirmed.
The top 16 players on the one-year ranking list for the 2018/19 season following next weekend’s BetVictor Shoot Out will qualify to play at the second leg of the all-new Coral Series, which launched earlier this month with Judd Trump’s victory at the Coral World Grand Prix in Cheltenham.
With today’s Welsh Open finalists Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham already assured of their places at the Guild Hall, there is only the Shoot Out remaining for players to add to their ranking tallies ahead of the all-important cut-off point.
Updated position as of 17/02/2019:
1st – Mark Allen – £364,000
2nd – Judd Trump – £277,000
3rd – Mark Selby – £236,500
4th – Ronnie O’Sullivan – £228,500
5th – Neil Robertson – £215,500
6th – Mark Williams – £208,500
7th – Kyren Wilson – £176,500
8th – David Gilbert – £169,500
9th – Stuart Bingham – £163,000
10th – Jack Lisowski – £138,000
11th – Ali Carter – £112,500
12th – Barry Hawkins – £111,500
13th – John Higgins – £111,000
14th – Joe Perry – £107,500
15th – Jimmy Robertson – £106,725
16th – Stephen Maguire – £105,500
17th – Martin O’Donnell – £85,000
18th – Noppon Saengkham – £79,000
19th – Xiao Guodong – £76,600
20th – Zhao Xintong – £75,500
With £32,000 on offer for the winner of the Shoot Out and £16,000 to the runner-up, the equation is relatively straight-forward heading into the Shoot Out as there are only four players in the draw within range of 16th placed Stephen Maguire.
With Maguire not competing in Watford and the chasing pack all needing to win the title to overhaul the Scot, already we know that the players above him now cannot be caught in the Race to Preston.
There are in fact six players within range of Maguire, but with Ding Junhui and Ryan Day having elected not to enter the Shoot Out, only Martin O’Donnell, Noppon Saengkham, Xiao Guodong and Zhao Xintong can now crack the top 16.
While the Players Championship field looks relatively set, looking ahead to the eight-player Tour Championship there is still all to play for with Stuart Bingham looking to usurp David Gilbert for the final qualifying spot with victory today in Cardiff and further opportunities to add prize money at the Shoot Out, Indian Open, Players Championship and Gibraltar Open tournaments.
Further updates will follow here at wpbsa.com over the coming weeks as the Race to Llandudno takes shape…