2021 WST Pro Series – Group C

Stuart Bingham dominated  Group C yesterday, and that’s an understatement. Judge by yourself…

This is WST report on Group C:

Bingham In Seventh Heaven

World number 12 Bingham hasn’t gone beyond the last 16 of a ranking event so far this season

Stuart Bingham won seven matches out of seven without conceding a frame as he romped into the second phase of the WST Pro Series.

Sam Craigie also made it through thanks to a 2-0 win over Billy Castle in his final match. They both advance to the second group stage in March in the new £420,500 world ranking event.

Former World Champion Bingham knocked in breaks of 70, 90, 65, 76, 50, 134, 124, 71, 75, 89 and 87 in winning 14 consecutive frames.

“When the draw came out I thought it would be a tough group because there are four or five good break-builders in there,” said Basildon’s Bingham. “I started off well and carried on all the way through. My game is in good shape.

“Losing in the semi-finals of the Masters last week (6-5 against Yan Bingtao) was hard to take, it hurt. You either win or you learn, and I will learn from it.”

Bingham is currently 21st in the Race to the Crucible and must get into the top 16 before the  Betfred World Championship to avoid having to go through qualifying. “I’ll need to get to the later stages of a few events to get into the top 16,” he added. “It’s tough now on tour – if I have to go to the qualifiers then that’s what I’ll do.”

Craigie won his first four matches, then lost against Scott Donaldson and Bingham to leave his progression in doubt. But the world number 51 rallied to beat Castle with breaks of 55 and 70.

Stuart Bingham 7 7 0 14 0 21
Sam Craigie 7 5 2 10 5 15
Jamie Clarke 7 4 3 9 8 12
Chris Wakelin 7 4 3 10 9 12
Scott Donaldson 7 3 4 7 9 9
Ashley Carty 7 3 4 7 10 9
Billy Castle 7 2 5 6 11 6
Jamie Curtis-Barrett 7 0 7 3 14 0

Scott Donaldson was surprisingly poor.

That Stuart is in such big danger to need to qualify for the Crucible is shocking really, but thinking about it, the truth is that his Masters win last season somehow made us overlook how poor his 2019/20 season actually was.

The amateur again didn’t win a match, although this is probably a slightly different case. Jamie Curtis-Barrett is a widower with two young children.  He loves his snooker but is unlikely to have the time and resources to prepare seriously for a professional event, especially in the current circumstances.

3 thoughts on “2021 WST Pro Series – Group C

  1. An interesting group containing young players Scott Donaldson, Jamie Clarke, Ash Carty and Sam Craigie, all trying to make progress in the game. Craigie’s performance goes some way to helping him stay on tour.

    On the wider rankings point, it’s likely that Stuart Bingham, Yan Bingtao and Mark Allen will not qualify for the Players’ Championship. It was their misfortune that their best result of the season was in events that don’t count.

    • Stuart Bingham is currently 14th in that list, 4500 points above Joe Perry wh is 17th, and he has qualiied for the German Masters. I would be surprised if he missed out. He’s also only 1000 points behind Jamie Jones who hasn’t qualified for the German Masters. Shaun Murphy, Yan Bintao, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire,Mark Williams and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh from the current top 16 are unlikely to qualify.

      • Ah yes, the German Masters points. Bingham is likely to qualify. It’s his Crucible ranking that’s a problem, but with the TC he does have an extra chance.

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