PICKERING's Paul Davison has become the first player in history to qualify three times for the World Snooker Tour.

Davison, who first qualified in 1992, finished among the top four players in the ranking list at Q School - the annual event in Preston where players battle for 12 remaining two year Tour cards.

He had last qualified two years ago and would have lost his professional status had he not qualified again at the Guild Hall last weekend.

Davison, 45, is currently ranked 91st in the world and only 128 players take part in the Tour which includes 19 ranking tournaments.

He won just £14,500 in prize money on last season's Tour and progressed beyond the first round only four times, in the Shanghai Masters, the UK Championship and both the Welsh and China Opens.

He beat world Ladies number one Reanne Evans on his way to securing a top four spot at Q School as well as London pro Sean O'Sullivan and James Cahill.

"I have had seasons where I have not been on the tour but it's better now because you get two years," said Davison. "It gives you a good crack of the whip and you can have no complaints if you don't stay up.

"I am going to have to try and get into the top 64 now and not go to Q School every two years," he admitted. "My aim now is to get plenty of points in the first season so I am not chasing points in the second season which has tended to happen in the past for me."

Melbourne's Ashley Hugill had already secured his place on the Tour by winning six games at the first stage of Q School last week.

Both Davision and Hugill will play their first Tour games of the 2017-18 season at the Kaspersky Riga Masters in Preston which starts on May 31.

"I am looking forward to going back to Preston now for the Riga Masters," said Davison. "I have got to get a good start and not be playing catch up."

Davison, meanwhile, has welcomed the decision by the game's governing body World Snooker to abolish tournament entry fees.

"It makes a massive difference to everyone apart from the top 16-20 players," he said.

World snooker chairman Barry Hearn commented: "When we were a small business, entry fees were a substantial part of our income. This is no longer the case - so we’re going to write off £500,000 of entry fees that we receive through the year and all the players will be saving £4,000 or £5,000 a year - which is going to be very helpful to lower-ranked players as they start their journey to become a professional snooker player."