The International Championship 2017 qualifiers were played in Preston from September 26 to September 29, 2017 and most of the top players involved did qualify for the main event to be played early november in Daqing, China.
The notable exception is Marco Fu who fell to the young Thai, Akani “Sunny” Songsermsawad, a player with the most unconventional cue action!
Four of the top 16 players have their first match held over to the venue: Mark Selby, the World Champion, John Higgins, the n°2 seed (?), Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo, China n° 1 and 2. More Chinese players have their matches held over as well; indeed the trio involved in the Asian Indoor Games (a competition played in Turkmenistan till September 27, 2017), Zhou Yuelong, Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong were spared the qualifiers in Preston. However Hossein Vafaei and Soheil Vahedi, the two Iranian players involved in the same competition were required to rush to the UK to play their last 128 match… Probably another great example of the fair playing field.
Ronnie was amongst the last batch of players to qualify yesterday evening in Preston. He certainly didn’t snail trough it as he needed just over an hour to beat Gerald Greene by 6-0:
Here is the last frame of the match:
MissingClip (the full match)
Ronnie next opponent, in the last 64 is likely to be the very dangerous Yan Bingtao. Next up could be Rick Walden or Peter Ebdon in the last 32, possibly Barry Hawkins in the last 16 and John Higgins in the QF… easy!