2021 WST Pro Series Phase 2 – Group 3

Barry Hawkins was top of the Group for most of the day, but eventually it’s Sam Craigie who won it. Kack Lisowski came second.

Here is the report by WST:

Surprise package Sam Craigie won his last three matches to top Group Three in phase two of the WST Pro Series, with Jack Lisowski runner-up.

World number 55 Craigie and number ten Lisowski will both be trying to win a first career ranking title when they play in Sunday’s final group, joining Mark Williams, Ali Carter, Kyren Wilson, Xiao Guodong and the two players who come through the fourth phase two group on Saturday.

The winner of the final group will be crowned champion on Sunday night.

Barry Hawkins was edged into third place today, but there was a silver lining for the Hawk as that was enough to guarantee himself a place in next week’s Cazoo Tour Championship.

Craigie’s hopes looked slim when he won just two of his first four matches, while Hawkins and Lisowski surged ahead on four wins apiece. But Craigie then beat Luca Brecel 2-0 and Fergal O’Brien 2-0 to give himself hope, before finishing with a superb 2-0 defeat of Lisowski.

Newcastle’s Craigie finished on five wins and a frame difference of plus six, ahead of Lisowski who had five wins and a frame difference of plus three. Hawkins edged out Joe Perry 2-1 in his last match to finish with the same record as Lisowski, but was placed third as he lost their head-to-head clash 2-1 earlier in the day.

Craigie is through to the last eight of a ranking event for the second time in his career, having reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 China Open.

WST Pro Series Phase 2 Group 3 Table

It’s fair to say that very little separated the top three in this group!

As mentioned above and confirmed by WST, the line-up for the Tour Championship is now set:

ROS-Hawkins - Tour Champs

Barry Hawkins’ performance in the WST Pro Series on Friday secured his place in next week’s Cazoo Tour Championship at the Celtic Manor Resort.

If Hawkins had finished sixth or lower in today’s group, that would have opened the door for Zhou Yuelong, who could have climbed into the top eight of the one-year ranking list by winning the WST Pro Series.

However, by finishing third, Hawkins has assured himself of a spot in next week’s £380,000 world ranking event in South Wales. The field is:

Judd Trump
Mark Selby
Neil Robertson
John Higgins
Ronnie O’Sullivan
Jack Lisowski
Kyren Wilson
Barry Hawkins

However, this seeding order could change depending on the results of Lisowski and Wilson in the WST Pro Series final group on Sunday. They both have the chance to move above O’Sullivan.

Therefore the final draw and format for the Cazoo Tour Championship will not be confirmed until Sunday evening.

Indeed the draw, based on seeding, can still change, as both Jack Lisowski and Kyren Wilson could still overcome Ronnie in the one year list. For that to happen, Kyren needs to win the WST Pro Series, whilst the second place would be enough for Jack.

Both Judd Trump and Mark Selby will play today, but no matter what happens they will finish seeded 1 and 2 in that order. Therefore the top four is already known.

As it stands the draw woud be:

Judd Trump v Barry Hawkins
John Higgins v Ronnie
Neil Robertson v Jack Lisowski
Mark Selby v Kyren Wilson

Those in bold can’t “move”:  Judd Trump v Barry Hawkins is the only certainty at this stage.

Now here are the possible permutations:

If Kyren Wilson wins tomorrow whilst Jack Lisowski does not make it into the top 2.

Judd Trump v Barry Hawkins
John Higgins v Kyren Wilson
Neil Robertson v Ronnie 
Mark Selby v Jack Lisowski

If Jack Lisowski makes it into the top 2 and Kyren Wilson does not win.

Judd Trump v Barry Hawkins
John Higgins v Jack Lisowski
Neil Robertson v Ronnie
Mark Selby v Kyren Wilson

If Kyren Wilson wins and Jack Lisowski is runner-up

Judd Trump v Barry Hawkins
John Higgins v Kyren Wilson
Neil Robertson v Jack Lisowski
Mark Selby v Ronnie

8 thoughts on “2021 WST Pro Series Phase 2 – Group 3

  1. Won’t Jack end up on the same amount of ranking points for the season as Ronnie if he finishes runner up? What is the tie-breaker for the tour championship position in that case? I would’ve thought it would go on actual ranking and place Ronnie above Jack.

      • Are you sure? I might be reading it wrong but looks like £1,000 from finishing 8th in the final round has already been added to Jack’s total, so he would only get an extra £9,000 from finishing runner up.

      • You’re right. My bad. Well I don’t know the answer for sure then. But Ronnie’s ranking is irrelevant. It’s usually about who got to that amount when, but I’m not sure if it’s the most recent “win” that counts or not. I hope it is. I would prefer for Ronnie to avoid Higgins first round TBH.

  2. The TC line-up is close to ideal for British terrestrial audiences (it’s an ITV event). Very familiar names, no young players. Only really Shaun Murphy is missing, but then he’s had a bad season for various reasons.

    Barry Hawkins has done very well in the second half of the season, and his £121k is uncatchable. Of course Mark Allen’s £125k CoC win and Yan Bingtao’s £250k for the Masters are ‘overlooked’ for this.

    In yesterday’s matches, Luo Honghao made too many mistakes to help his survival. But Sam Craigie played very well – he seems to do well in these short-format groups. He’s now in a good position in the rankings.

    • Yes, I watched a bit of Luo and, although it didn’t seem that bad at the time. because of the circumstances, his heavy defeat at the Crucible seems to have destroyed his confidence. I’m sorry for him. I hope that he gets another chance if he drops off the tour, which looks very likely now.

      • I’m not sure that the Crucible defeat was the problem. He suffered a food allergy, and was on medication for that match. More likely is just ranking pressure throughout the 2019-20 season (he was incredibly lucky to survive), and has continued during 2020-21, being in the 60’s all the time. But it’s really his technique which has suffered, a hard thing to deal with since technique was his main strength. He moved from STAR to Victoria’s, and whilst practicing with Zhao Xintong might be a lot of fun, his game needs to be much tighter. In contract Luo’s friend Yuan Sijun (they are the same age and from the same town) appears to have had a bad lockdown year. I predicted that many Chinese players would struggle – they had to deal with travelling horrors, lack of available practice facilites, quarantines, extended periods away from home, lost ranking points from the 2020 WC – but I didn’t expect it to happen to these two. It’s really unthinkable that such talented players will be off the tour in 2021-22.

      • Not sure if that’s actually allowed, but Yan Sijun seems to have a chance via CBSA nomination. They will get four cards and the current top four is Li Yingdong, Zhang Anda, Yuan Sijun and Zhang Yong. There are however two more tournaments to be played in April. Zhang Anda seems to have taken the best decisions all along.

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