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Changes to snooker tournament qualification backed
POTTER Paul Davison is backing new plans to revamp qualification for snooker’s big tournaments.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn’s transformation of the game over the past couple of years has led to more competitions and more prize money and the game’s chief is planning the biggest overhaul for decades with the world’s top 16 players no longer guaranteed a place in the latter stages of most ranking events should the plans go ahead.
Next season would see all 128 professionals playing from round one in eight major tournaments – including York’s UK Championship – should the proposals, unveiled last month, be implemented by the game’s governing body.
For Pickering-based Davison, who from his ranking of 71 must routinely win four matches to reach a venue, it could halve the number of games he must negotiate – although he’s likely to have harder opponents in the first two rounds.
But, he says, if it is for the good of the game, he is in favour.
“I feel a little bit sorry for the boys who have got into the top 16 and have to go and qualify (if the new system is imposed). They have earned the right to be there, in a way, but they are still guaranteed the money.
“The top 64 will play 65 to 128. It’s not all that bad for the top 16. The top eight don’t have to play their match in a qualifier, they will go straight to the venue and play their match. The likes of Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby – it is not as bad for them as playing in a little cubicle.
“Whatever it is, you still have to go out and play well. It’s probably a bit easier getting through to venues and climbing up the rankings for the lower players. You are having two matches to get to the last 32.
“If it is a change for the better, as long as it is good for the game, it should go ahead. Whether it affects your personal ranking, or you have personal issues with it, I think what’s good for the game should go ahead.”