On the Rise
With eight of the season’s 19 full-ranking events completed following Mark Selby’s victory at the International Championship last weekend, we are not yet even at the halfway point of the 2016/17 season.
Already however, there are 12 players (excluding those on tour last season whose totals were reset to zero for 2016/17), who have earned more prize money from ranking events so far this season, than during the whole of the last campaign.
Of those players, three are among those ranked inside the top 64, including the two most improved players of all when measured by prize money earned compared to last season.
The biggest riser to date is Indian Open champion Anthony McGill, who has already almost doubled his prize money earnings from the 2015/16 season, already up to £88,275 compared to £44,350. Following his breakthrough run to the World Championship quarter-finals in 2015 Anthony struggled for consistency during the following year, but has again showed what he is capable of in recent months and this is reflected by his prize money won.
Also enjoying a much improved term so far is World Open winner Ali Carter, who with £123,275 in the bank has currently earned more prize money so far this season than all but three other players on tour. Contrast this to last season when he earned £93,050 during the entire campaign and it is easy to see why he is now back up among the world’s top 16 players.
Although he is further down the list in 56th position, it has already been a much-improved season for former Shanghai Masters finalist Xiao Guodong. The 27-year-old endured a torrid 2015/16 campaign, earning just £21,750 and leaving himself needing a much-improved season this time around to avoid dropping off the main tour. Up to £26,525 so far this term however, he is on course to retain his place and will be hoping to move back up the list over the coming months.
What about the players looking to either break into the top 64 for the first time, or at least earn enough prize money during this season to earn a new tour card via the one-year ranking list?
Perhaps the most-improved player of this group so far in 2016/17 has been Welshman Daniel Wells, who has already earned £22,812 since June, compared to just £14,300 during the whole of last season.
Also on the rise are Rhys Clark, Duane Jones and Allan Taylor, Jones in particular having a much-improved season having earned £11,312 compared to just £775 during his rookie campaign. It is a similar story for exciting Thai talent Akani Songsermsawad, who having played only one event during his first year, has competed more regularly during 2016/17 and is already up to £16,000 for the season.
James Cahill, Eden Sharav and Fraser Patrick are also among those to have already improved this season, as well as six-times World Championship finalist Jimmy White. Having earned just £500 during the whole of last season, the Whirlwind is now up to £5,000 for the current campaign, £3,000 of that earned from his run to the quarter-finals of the Paul Hunter Classic back in August.
Finally, while he has not yet quite surpassed his total from the 2015/16 season, it is worth noting that former world champion Stuart Bingham has already earned £86,087 during the current term, just £3,588 short of last season’s final total.