Here are the four who graduated to the Main Tour via the 2019 Q-School event 2
Chen Zifan (23 years old)
Chen Zifan is a returning professional. He turned professional in 2017, having qualified via the Q-School, and was relegated after the last World Championship having finished the season ranked 102. As is often the case, Chen’s second year as a professional was worse than the first one. He only won three matches all season, whilst on his first season he had managed to reach the last 32 of a ranking event twice. It’s overall a very poor record. But what does it mean? Well, first, it’s obvious that the gap between the amateurs and professionals is big, and with the lower ranked players having to meet a top 64 one more often than not, they don’t really have a progressive path for improvement and it’s not helping their confidence either. Young professionals doing worse in their second year is also rather common, I’d go as far as to say that it’s a pattern, and it can only be explained by the stress and pressure they are under. Chen will need a good season in 2019/20 if he is to stay on tour and gain confidence.
Riley Parsons (19 years old)
Riley has never been professional and has truly impressed in the Q-School event 2. He beat Alexander Ursenbacher and Peter Lines to graduate. However with only five breaks over 50 in 44 frames played, he will probably need to score more heavily to succeed on the main tour. That said scoring has been very low in general in the Q-school this time, so maybe the conditions aren’t optimal.
Louis Heathcote (21 years old)
Louis has never been a professional before. He played in four events of the Challenge tour in 2018/19, reaching the last 16 twice. What was most impressive in Louis Q-School campaign is the way he won his last match. His opponent was the young Si Jiahui, 16 years old, and currently leading the Q-School order of merit. Si has won more frames in this year Q-school than anyone else, and he has been a heavy scorer too, with 23 breaks over 50, including 4 centuries to his name. Si was 3-0 up in their match. In frame 4 and in frame 5, Louis needed snookers, got them, and went on to win the frame. After that Si looked ragged and Louis scored 51 and 55 to win the last two frames and the match. That’s the sign of a strong temperament.
Fraser Patrick (33 years old)
Fraser turned professional for the first time in 2007. He struggled all season and was immediately relegated. He qualified for the main again in 2013 and spent four seasons as a pro. He never went past round three in any tournament. All that isn’t very promising at first glance. But he did beat two recent pros in Chris Keogan and Andy Hickx to qualify and he has experience of the main tour.
Congratulations and good luck to all four graduates.