Monday, 30 November 2020

Now on to the worlds

Fair play to King yesterday, great job to get past Wright somehow and reach the final, and give MvG a real run for his money, only losing out in a decider. Let's look what that's done to the FRH rankings:

1 Peter Wright
2 Michael van Gerwen
3 Gerwyn Price
4 James Wade
5 Dimitri van den Bergh
6 Michael Smith
7 Rob Cross
8 Jose de Sousa
9 Nathan Aspinall
10 Glen Durrant
11 Ian White (UP 1)
12 Dave Chisnall (DOWN 1)
13 Joe Cullen (UP 3)
14 Gary Anderson
15 Krzysztof Ratajski (DOWN 2)
16 Daryl Gurney (DOWN 1)
17 Simon Whitlock
18 Jonny Clayton
19 Mervyn King (NEW)
20 Mensur Suljovic (DOWN 1)

Noppert drops out of the top 20, one space outside. Heta is now well inside the top 40, Woodhouse gets back in the top 50 and Rydz is just two spots outside of it. Sedlacek is inside the top 64 once you incorporate first round worlds money.

Speaking of which, we've now had the qualifiers, and we've got a fairly standard list of names into the worlds. Zonneveld and Sedlacek got through the ROW qualifier at the expense of Schindler and Dekker in the final, who are (assuming Ward does hand in his card) 65th and 66th in the tour card race as things stand, so will drop off the tour card list for 2021, also losing out in the quali that'll lose their cards as a result are van de Pas (semis to Sedlacek) and Rodriguez (round one to Sedlacek - seems he's single handedly forced three players to Q-School).

In the UK qualifier we got a few interesting players in - Matt Edgar won through, which will delight Twitter, which looks to have saved his tour card, Jamie Lewis surprisingly got through over Robert Thornton and cost the Thorn his tour card, Lewis needing another miracle run to save his. Edgar beat Payne, who's got enough in the bank to be back for 2021 almost certainly. Ciaran Teehan surprised a few by beating Joe Murnan in a deciding leg, Teehan's done little all year but this may help set him up into year two of his tour card while Murnan will be back to square one, finally we got Nick Kenny getting in, another one who's had a fairly quiet 2020 but this will set him up nicely. Kenny beat out James Wilson, who's in a bit of a precarious spot - currently 61st in the tour card race assuming Ward does resign his card, it'd only take first round wins from Kleermaker and Kuivenhoven to move him down two spots, then not much else is needed to force him out - would need two of Hunt, Zonneveld, Rydz, Lowe or Sedlacek to beat their seeds. That's some strong names who, with an alright draw, can easily do it.

In this one we've seen Simon Stevenson lose his card after he went out to Payne, Scott Baker didn't even attempt the qualifier so he's done, Gavin Carlin's also gone (what price he'd give for there to have been a Tom Kirby this year?), then we're looking at names who'd be way too far off and would need a miracle worlds run - suppose the biggest name is Richard North who was knocking on the top 32 door within recent memory.

I suppose the players who I feel the most for are those who won their cards in 2019, who've not been given a real shot at saving them in 2020 thanks to ridiculous government overreactions to the whole situation. Sure, everyone around them also didn't win anything from the cancelled events, but it was certainly possible for someone to bink something out of nowhere and then maybe use that to sneak into a major, put an additional five grand on to their accounts, and help themselves. You just want the opportunity really, and everyone thinking there's a major public health crisis after it finished for all intents and purposes in May has cost them exactly that. McGeeney's the one I feel for the most - he's now one spot behind Wilson, so will need just one less thing to go wrong for him to end up back at Wigan or wherever in a month or so.

I've put the worlds money onto my FRH rankings now - all the top 32 seeds are in the top 33, only van Duijvenbode is in the top 32 that isn't a seed. Webster and Pipe are the players highest up the rankings to miss out, followed by Klaasen, Payne, Ward and Wilson. I'm going to start compiling all the data for the worlds preview, I've got a full week off work, but with the draw not taking place until Thursday morning (why?), it's going to be a bit before I can start presenting anything.

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