Now there is a surprise … a good one!
The draw for the 2019 Yushan World Open has been made.
The qualifying round will run from October 2-5 at the Barnsley Metrodome, followed by the main event in Yushan, China from October 28 to November 3.
It’s a strong field for the £772,000 world ranking event with Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ding Junhui, Mark Selby, John Higgins and Neil Robertson among the top stars in the draw.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to see Ronnie in any of the Chinese events other than the Shanghai Masters this season. But here he is…
Of course, there is the fact that he doesn’t need to play in the qualifiers, because, the defending champion, Mark Williams has not entered, and Judd Trump being both World Champion and World n°1, Ronnie, as n°2 has his first round match held-over. He will play Dominic Dale at the venue.
Also the trip is not too bad, especially if he choses to stop in Hong Kong for something.
If he can have a decent run there, it will also ease the pressure for the rest of the season. Last year he absolutely needed to get to the very latter stages at the UK Championship to qualify for the first of the Coral Cup events. It was a lot of pressure.
Regarding Mark Williams, it does comes as a surprise that he has not entered, although he tweeted this three days ago.
Maybe Ronnie knew that he didn’t intend to enter …