Saturday 13 April 2019

A few things on the European Tour qualifiers

I don't normally make a post just about qualifiers, but there's a few things I wanted to briefly touch on:

- Jamie Hughes managed the double again, which has now got him into the next four European Tour events. Now I've talked a fair bit about Hughes' quality of play over the last couple of weeks. He's got four grand minimum from these, and I can't think of anybody that he'd play in the first round that I'd put him as an underdog to, and most players I'd put him as a substantial favourite. So let's say that he's going to get a minimum of 8k from these - the chances of him losing an opening round game are probably less than the chances of him beating a seed, so this doesn't seem unreasonable. If he breaks one of these, or, for that matter, something on the Pro Tour, all of a sudden he's in Matchplay contention. He's certainly looking great to make the European Championships, so you've got to say that Hughes is going to be top 64 by the end of the year as a minimum - removing a tour card from those in the race to save them.

- Oh dear Simon Whitlock, now having to fight through the qualifiers for these and not getting close to either. Sure he got Hughes in one, but Scott Taylor beating him has got to be harsh. I can honestly see him dropping off a cliff from here, he's got enough money in the bank to be seeded for the Matchplay and Grand Prix, but the second that Grand Prix final money drops off, he's going to be in real trouble in terms of qualifying for either of those next year.

- Not a great day for Cadby either, Dave Pallett and Brendan Dolan aren't bad but you'd have expected him to beat one of them and then take a shot in the final round. We've got Pro Tours coming up this weekend, but maybe it'll take a bit longer to get up to speed than first anticipated. He's drawn Mervyn King today, so a King versus King matchup should be money. Winner could play Durrant, jesus.

- It's a good weekend already for Chris Dobey, Keegan Brown and Ross Smith, making both European events, with them being close to the bubble for the Matchplay, putting two grand in the bank with the opportunity to make more is very useful. Bunting's looking on the outside still, even after his decent Euro run, but a double here's going to help matters nicely. Nathan Aspinall's going to be fine to be a seed, but he's still fairly low down on the Pro Tour rankings, so him making two should help get him up further - he's only just sneaked into the seedings through mass withdrawals today.

- How exactly was Gerwyn Price 33/1 to win the Players Championships this weekend? This was when van Gerwen was still in it, but as the #3 seed, he was guaranteed to be in the other half regardless of any drop out permutations, so being offered 1/2 top two each way terms is amazing. Now, of course, van Gerwen has withdrawn from both, so let's see what happens. Could have done without Arron Monk in round one though...

- PC11 draw is just out, board 10 with King/Cadby, Durrant/Murschell, Beaton/Thornton and Labanauskas/Evetts is disgustingly good. Barney's got just about as good of a draw as he could want, Hughes is running into Gurney assuming he beats Kuivenhoven.

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