Lam Secures Immediate Tour Return
Sanderson Lam bounced straight back from losing his place on the World Snooker Tour by beating Joe Swail 4-2 in event two of Q School.
Q School began with 206 players seeking one of the 12 fresh two-year tour cards. Last Sunday’s four winning event one quarter finalists Lukas Kleckers, Allan Taylor, Ashley Hugill and Billy Joe Castle secured the first places. The next four were determined by today’s winning event two quarter-finalists, with the remaining four spots being allocated to the best placed players across both events.
The only route to qualification for Leeds’ Lam was his 4-2 victory today, after losing out in the opening round of event one. However, despite defeat this afternoon former World Championship semi-finalist Swail has managed to secure a tour card as one of the best placed players not to qualify directly.
Lam ended the 2016/17 campaign strongly, reaching the last 16 of the Gibraltar Open and the last 32 of the China Open, but a slow start to the campaign meant that he dropped off the tour. He was delighted to bounce straight back.
“I was playing really well towards the end of the season and picking up a lot of confidence. I got to the last 16 for the first time at the Gibraltar Open,” said Lam. “I’m really happy to get back on for another two years. I’m still young and I’m still learning so I’m really looking forward to the journey now.”
Welshman Duane Jones also secured an immediate return to professional status with a 4-2 win over Alex Davies.
Jones first qualified through Q School in 2015, however a disappointing two seasons saw him lose his card at the first hurdle. Despite playing for his career, he looked comfortable this afternoon and made breaks of 83 and 65 on his way to the win.
Jones remarked: “When I fell off the tour I considered not even entering Q School. I wasn’t thinking clearly and was just so down. For the next week I was just distraught. You realise how lucky you are to be in that position. I came up here for the first event and lost 4-0. I didn’t even win a frame. I went home and I practised every single day. This time around I played solidly all week.”
Chinese 21-year-old Chen Zifan secured his spot with a 4-1 win over Ben Jones. Chen has performed strongly over the last two weeks, recording five whitewash victories over both events and will join a talented group of young Chinese players now on the World Snooker Tour.
Paul Davison defeated James Cahill 4-2 to regain his professional status. He’s become accustomed to Q School having now qualified through the event on three occasions.
Martin O’Donnell, Sean O’Sullivan and Zhang Yong also return to the tour through the remaining places on the Q School Order of Merit.