A number of top players are in desperate need of wins at the Scottish Open in order to qualify for next month’s World Grand Prix, or face a very quiet second half of the season.
This week’s Scottish Open is the last chance for players to make it into the Grand Prix, needing to be in the top 32 on the one-year ranking list to qualify for Leicester.
It is crucial for players with big ambitions to make it into the Grand Prix because anyone who misses out sees their chances of making the Players Championship and Tour Championship later in the season greatly diminish.
16 players go to Telford for the Players Championship and just 12 to Manchester for the Tour Championship in April.
In immediate danger of not even making it to the 32-man World Grand Prix are the likes of world champion Luca Brecel, Kyren Wilson, Anthony McGill, Gary Wilson and Stuart Bingham.
Brecel has had a very quiet season as world champion so far and heads to Edinburgh at number 40 on the one-year list so has to win at least two matches in Scotland to make the cut, depending on the results of his rivals.
McGill is #42 on the one-year list, Kyren Wilson down at #46 and Bingham at #49, last year’s runner-up Joe O’Connor down at #5 and last year’s champion Gary Wilson at #63, needing a very deep run in Scotland to have a chance of making it to Leicester.
All the way down the one-year list at #86 is Neil Robertson who has had a remarkably poor campaign so far and has not entered the Scottish Open as he takes some time off with his family, returning to Australia for a holiday.
The Thunder from Down Under will not be at the Grand Prix, and while he can retrieve his season at tournaments like the German Masters, Welsh Open and World Open early in 2023 his ranking looks set to plummet.
Much can change between now and then, but incredibly Robertson’s provisional end of season ranking is down at #29.
The Scottish Open gets underway in Edinburgh at 10am on Monday 11 December, with the winner picking up £80,000 on Sunday night.
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