The 2022 European Masters Qualifiers – Day 5

The qualifiers for the 2022 European Masters continued yesterday and here is the report by WST:

Murphy Continues Strong Start

Shaun Murphy continued his strong start to the new season with a 5-3 win over Dean Young at BetVictor European Masters qualifying in Leicester.

The 2005 World Champion was plagued with back and neck problems last term but he is hopeful that those issues have lessened over the summer break. He started this season well by coming through his BetVictor Championship League group with two wins and a draw.

Murphy constructed contributions of 90, 55 and 68 on his way to this afternoon’s victory and he can now look forward to a trip to Furth for the final stages.

Scotland’s Anthony McGill edged past Switzerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher 5-4 in a keenly contested encounter. World number 16 McGill had trailed 4-3, but took the final two frames to edge through.

BetVictor Gibraltar Open champion Robert Milkins scored a 5-0 whitewash victory against Lu Ning. Andrew Higginson beat Joe O’Connor 5-2.

Barry Pinches recorded a 5-1 defeat of Rebecca Kenna with a top run of 138, while Mitchell Mann beat Mink Nutcharut by the same scoreline.

Mark Joyce top scored with 82 in a 5-0 whitewash of Stephen Hendry.

Probably the best matches of the day are not mentioned in this report, likely because their latish finish:  Jak Jones beat Ben Woollaston by 5-3, in a match where both players scored 4 breaks over 50 and Jordan Brown beat Cao Yupeng by 5-4. Jordan was 4-2 up in that match, only for Cao to force a decider. Jordan scored 5 breaks over 50, including a 64 in the deciding frame, whilst Cao had 3 50+ breaks.

No mention either of Lei Peifan’s whitewash of Rod Lawler.

Andrew Higginson is far too good to be out of the main tour, and without the ranking points pressure he is out to do some damage. I wouldn’t be surprised if he requalified via the one year list come the end of the season.

Rebecca Kenna started playing better towards the end of her match. Later, on social media, she admitted to have felt very nervous, and to have struggled with the speed of the table. She is a fighter and a quick learner. I expect her to improve as the season advances.

As for the Mark Joyce v Stephen Hendry match … what can I say? Stephen does not seem to be willing to compromise on his style of play. I’m afraid this won’t get him anywhere for a number of reasons: his long potting is nowhere near as reliable it was when he was in his pomp, his tactical game, when he accepts that he has to play safe, isn’t good enough and the standard of the mid-ranked players is much, much higher than it used to in the 90th.  I will never tell a player, never mind a great champion like Hendry, that they should retire. But this was painful to watch …

All detailed results are on


3 thoughts on “The 2022 European Masters Qualifiers – Day 5

  1. I agree that Higginson is too good not to be on the main tour, as was Michael White, and yes he might well qualify via the one year list.
    To me, it shows that the process for selecting players for the main tour is flawed. Too many players not on the tour who should be – and vice versa.
    It would be much better if it were merit only that earned places on the tour, and then a tiered draw to help players progress up the rankings.
    New, inexperienced players being put against seasoned professionals doesn’t help anyone.

    • I don’t agree with amateurs qualifying via the 1-year list. Those places are intended as a safety net for professionals who had a bad season but improved the next, such as rookies. The amateurs aren’t playing to try and stay on tour, so the pressures are different. They do have WSF, Q Tour and continental championships as routes back.

      But yes, it does appear the wrong players are on tour. The criteria have been changed, which has implications for random draws at both amateur and professional level.

      I would say that there are so many more ‘seasoned professionals’ now than there used to be, so making everything tiered won’t have the same effect as it once did. The downside of tiered draws is that giving the top-16 byes into the 5th round helps them to maintain their privileged position. It’s problematic if taken too far.

      • I think that going back to a tiered system would help, provided that players losing their first match, no matter at what stage, don’t get any ranking points. That wasn’t the case with the old tiered system that, therefore, offered too much protection, especially combined with the fact that rankings were frozen over a full season.

Comments are closed.