Only 8 remain and they will play just one session today. They are: Daniel Wells, Adam Duffy, Zak Surey, Ben Mertens, Zhao Jianbo, Aaron Hill, Steven Hallworth, Sanderson Lam. Of those eight, only Ben Mertens has never been a pro before. It is however a significantly younger lot than what Event 1 delivered. All of them are 33 or younger, with Aaron Hill being 20, Zhao Jianbo 18 and Ben Mertns 17.
Q School Event Two: The Final Round
Belgium’s Ben Mertens won a battle between two of snooker’s brightest prospects, beating Liam Davies 4-1 to reach the final round of Q School event two.
Welsh 15 year-old Davies stole a record from Mertens at Crucible qualifying last month, becoming the youngest ever winner of a match in the World Championship. Mertens was just two days older when he set the previous record at the 2020 World Championship. It was the Belgian who had the last laugh today.
Mertens, who is now 17 years old, top scored with 81 on his way to the win. He will now face Zak Surety for a two-year card on the World Snooker Tour. Surety defeated Rodney Goggins 4-3.
Ireland’s Aaron Hill whitewashed Kuldesh Johal 4-0 to set up a quarter-final clash with Zhao Jianbo, who was a 4-2 victor against Chris Totten. Chinese cueman Zhao was in fine form, hammering home breaks of 52, 88, 105 and 51 on his way to the win.
Former Scottish Open semi-finalist Daniel Wells edged past Ross Bulman 4-3 to earn his place in the final round. Wells now faces Sheffields Adam Duffy, who beat former Shoot Out winner Michael Georgiou 4-2.
Sanderson Lam scored a surprise 4-3 win over Kurt Maflin and he now plays Steven Hallworth for a spot on tour. Hallworth came through with a 4-1 defeat of Peter Devlin.
The winners of the four quarter-finals on Friday in Sheffield will each receive a two-year World Snooker Tour card, for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons.
Friday’s quarter-final line up:
Daniel Wells vs Adam Duffy
Zak Surety vs Ben Mertens
Zhao Jianbo vs Aaron Hill
Steven Hallworth vs Sanderson Lam
As Jo explains in the commentary section, it’s hard for Kurt Maflin. The covid crisis has hit everyone in a way or another but, in general, non-UK/Irish players have suffered even more than their “colleagues”, either because they were away from their families in particularly stressing circumstances, or they returned home and missed on both practice and match play opportunities.
Event 3 will start already tomorrow, and there will be even more pressure for those playing in that one. This time, there is no saving grace. As far as we know, there will be no tour cards for those on top of the order of merit. It will however “count” when it comes to who gets “top-up” invitations.