2022/23 Season Tour News

Two players secured their professional tour card for the coming season this week-end.

Here are the report by WPBSA.

Sean O’Sullivan earns the Q-Tour “automatic” tour card

Comeback King McGuigan Claims Q Tour Title

Northern Ireland’s Robbie McGuigan has won the final event of the WPBSA Q Tour season following a 5-3 victory against Michael Collumb at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.

The final weekend of the regular WPBSA Q Tour season was to provide no shortage of drama, with places on next season’s main tour, the season-ending playoffs and also next month’s Betfred World Snooker Championship to be determined by the final Q Tour Ranking List following the conclusion of play on Sunday evening.

Reigning Northern Ireland national champion Robbie McGuigan entered the tournament out of range of top spot, but progressed to the final day of a Q Tour event for the first time following victories against Jamie Curtis-Barrett, Wiphu Phuthisabodi and Patrick Whelan on Saturday.

Having reached the semi-finals with a 4-2 victory against Hamim Hussain, the 17-year-old was paired with former professional Simon Bedford, who was the last player standing who could still deny Sean O’Sullivan the auotmatic main tour card available by lifting the title in Leeds.

It was Bedford who dominated the early exchanges as he top scored with breaks of 61 and 55 on his way to establishing a 3-0 lead, before McGuigan reeled off three frames of his own with top breaks of 83 and 55 in barely 40 minutes to draw level.

Both players would have chances in the decider, but a missed brown by Bedford was to prove fatal and McGuigan would ultimately prevail on the final pink to reach the final – a result that would also confirm that Sean O’Sullivan would take the automatic qualification spot available for the World Snooker Tour.

Awaiting McGuigan in the final was Scotland’s Michael Collumb, himself a former national champion back in 2019 and through to the final day having claimed the scalps of Adam Duffy, Harvey Chandler and Ryan Davies to reach the last eight. Breaks of 87 and 70 saw him through to the semi-finals with victory against promising Welsh youngster Liam Davies, before he came through a deciding frame against Alex Clenshaw to qualify for the title match.

It was Collumb who made the stronger start to the final as he limited his opponent to just 24 points during the opening three frames as he raced into a 3-0 lead. The next frame also looked to be heading the way of the Scot as a four frame cushion beckoned at the mid-session interval.

However, a clearance of 31 by McGuigan was to prove a key turning point, as he snatched the frame before the break to get himself on the scoreboard. On the resumption of play it was to be largely one-way traffic, as McGuigan added breaks of 51, 58 and finally a match-clinching 82 in the last to claim the biggest title of his career in Leeds.

The victory sees McGuigan earn the top prize of £2,500 and climb to third position in the final season standings, behind only the top two Si Jiahui and Sean O’Sullivan. With beaten finalist Collumb also finishing inside of the top six in the final rankings, both players will join Sean O’Sullivan, David Lilley and Ben Mertens in earning a spot at next month’s World Championship from the Q Tour.

Both players will also be among 16 players who will contest the Q Tour Playoffs later this year, with a further main tour place to be won.

The WPBSA would like to thank all of the players, officials and in particular the Northern Snooker Centre for their support and hospitality at the event.

Further information with regards to the Q Tour Playoffs will be released as soon as possible.

Si Jiahui has already earned a tour card by winning the WSF championship. Therefore Sean who comes second in the Q-Tour order of merit takes the “automatic” Q-tour tour card.

I’m very happy for Sean who I have known for over 10 years. Sean has not really played to his true potential during his time on the main tour. He was only 17 when he qualified for the main tour in 2012. He probably wasn’t ready.

He requalified for the main tour in 2015, having done very well in the Asian PTCs but didn’t really make any breakthrough on the main tour afterwards.

One event had a strong and very debilitating impact on Sean in 2015: the passing of his best friend Billy O’Connor. Billy had a particularly bright personality and showed extraordinary resilience and courage throughout his illness. He never stopped smiling, he never stopped playing snooker. His death left Sean absolutely devastated and I’m not even sure he’ll eventually completely recover from the loss of his closest friend.

Ryan Thomerson takes the Asia Pacific Tour card:

Thomerson Triumphs in Asia Pacific Championship

Ryan Thomerson has won the 2022 Asia Pacific Open Snooker Championship following a 6-1 defeat of fellow Australian Justin Sajich in the final at Mounties in New South Wales.

The 27-year-old’s victory in the multi-continental event sees him realise a career ambition as he is set to be offered a maiden professional World Snooker Tour card for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 campaigns.

Organised by the Asia Pacific Snooker & Billiards Federation (APSBF), this new tournament was open to players from both Asia and Oceania. A total of 58 hopefuls travelled to the popular venue in the suburbs of Sydney to contest the title, a $4,000 first prize and the lucrative WST ticket.

Thomerson – who has resided in England over the past few years in order to further his education in sport – began the event as one of the favourites, and he cruised through the initial round robin phase winning all three of his matches without dropping a frame. In the nine frames he played throughout the group, he registered seven half-century breaks and a 112.

As a top seed qualifier, Thomerson avoided the preliminary knockout round and went straight into the last 16 where he crafted runs of 70, 60 and 52 during a 4-0 win over promising teenager Xavier Daw.

The Victorian cueist faced a stern test in the quarter-finals, ousting former main tour exponent Andy Lee (Hong Kong) 4-3 with a top run of 74 in the fifth frame. Thomerson came up against even vaster experience in the semi-finals, defeating former professional and two-time Oceania champion Glen Wilkinson 5-1 – a success highlighted by a break of 121 in the fourth.

Final opponent Sajich is perhaps better known for his pool skills, but the home state competitor showed his prowess on the snooker table with a string of impressive results and performances. He eliminated former Australian national champion James Mifsud and Hong Kong youngster Yu Kiu Chang in reaching the last four where he pipped Adam Waller in a deciding frame, 5-4.

However, Thomerson was not to be denied the biggest moment of his career so far. He claimed the opening three frames of the title match on the colours – the second being on the pink and the third on the black – before a 58 break in the fourth helped him make it 4-0.

Thomerson went into the interval one away from glory at 5-0 up, but on resumption Sajich averted the whitewash by getting on the board with the sixth. This just delayed the outcome, though, as Thomerson claimed a low-scoring seventh frame to lift the trophy.

In the preceding Asia Pacific 6-Red Snooker Championship that took place at the same venue, serial event winner and former professional Steve Mifsud recovered from 2-0 down in the final to overturn India’s Dhvaj Haria 5-3 for the title.

I know nothing about Ryan Thomerson. I just hope that he will ACTUALLY play, unlike Mifsud who won Oceania Snooker Championship twice, in 2014 and 2019 and entered only 2 events during the four years on Tour those wins had earned him. In 2020/21, covid was a factor, maybe, but basically he was a waste of a tour card.

2 thoughts on “2022/23 Season Tour News

  1. Certainly Ryan Thomerson will play. He’s been trying desperately hard to get on tour for several years, although at 27 it might be too late for him to make much impact. He was promising as a younger player. I think he’s been living almost full-time in the UK.

    I’ve seen Sean O’Sullivan play some great matches, but he has only produced that form very occasionally. If he can improve his consistency, he will do OK.

    Robbie McGuigan’s win was a breakthrough, even though he hasn’t yet qualified for the tour. However, the top few players will get a game in the upcoming World Championship. The experience will be beneficial.

    • That he hasn’t yet qualified for the main tour may prove to be a blessing in disguise. He’s still very young. I don’t buy the “if you are good enough, you are old enough” motto especially when it means living mainly abroad, away from family and familiar environment.

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