Sunday 27 January 2019

A bit more on the UK Open etc

One thing that occurred to me yesterday, which makes the UK Open reforms even worse, is that players who attempted Q-School, who last season would have been associate members and need to play the UK Open qualifiers (at least they all did a couple of years ago, I think last year it was just the top half that could play them?), now cannot - they're now eligible to play the Rileys' qualifiers. So not only are there now half as many, we now have the likes of Jim Williams, Scott Waites, Kevin Painter, Paul Nicholson, Stephen Burton, Wes Newton and anyone else that doesn't have a tour card and wasn't amongst the top 16 of the Challenge Tour from last year that don't. It kind of takes away from the idea that anyone can roll up and maybe make a run if the fields for the qualifiers are potentially full of major winners, major finalists and other high quality players that wouldn't have been in last year, it's just going to be a full member and top end of the Challenge Tour circlejerk. Plus Paul Hogan and Alex Roy, obviously.

I was going to post before the Challenge Tour yesterday, but couldn't due to some weird internet issue - we've got two in the books, with Stephen Burton winning the second, and Shaun Carroll, someone who I've never heard of, winning the first. That puts these two in pole position to get positions in the Pro Tour on countback - how many spots there are in the first few is up in the air, you'd assume most would play the first few, but Cadby may still not be eligible, Barney shouldn't give them a miss but probably will, Suljovic often misses some of the early ones? Burton's got a slight edge in that he got to the last 16 in event one, while Carroll crashed out very early in the second, but they're both already out of event three (Burton at the last 64, Carroll nowhere), so there's possibilities for others to come through - it'll probably take a win, but Mick Todd got a semi final and a quarter final, the finalists (Rafferty and Lynskey) obviously have a good chance given the hugely top heavy nature of the prize pool, Todd's still alive right now but Rafferty lost in the last 32. I'll do a quick post of anyone within a grand of the top 5 after event 3's done I think.

Asian Tour weekend 1 is done, Paul Lim having a win in event two and was runner up to Royden Lam in event one, a high quality final where all of the last 8 legs were finished in five visits or better. Kevin (is that Kai Fan?) Leung got the final in event two, adding to a quarter final in the first event. Ilagan made two semi finals, Suzuki got to the last 16 both times, Christian Perez made two quarters, just a bit of a surprise to see neither Asada or Malicdem do much of anything.

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