Runner-up in APTC1 to Stuart Bingham, world number six Stephen Lee today went one better in Yixing, defeating Ding Junhui 4-0 to win the season’s second APTC event and with it, the £10,000 top prize…
- Click here to view the results from the event in full
- Click here to view the updated projected seedings
- Click here to view the updated APTC Order of Merit
Having defeated the likes of Xiao Guodong, Robert Milkins and Joe Perry to reach the final, Stephen lined up against home favourite Ding Junhui as the tournament came to a conclusion today.
After a tight opening frame which was decided on the black however, Lee looked the only winner, a top break of 97 seeing him on his way to a 4-0 win.
While these events may come somewhat under the radar, with 2,000 ranking points and £10,000 available, they are just as valuable as a UK-based PTC event to the winner, indeed arguably more so as Lee’s victory now assures him of a place at the Grand Finals next year where he will look to defend his 2012 title.
It is hard to know what to make of these events, not having watched them on television, or really had a great deal of feedback on at all from the venue. For the main tour players, they are a useful opportunity to pick up a few extra ranking points, particularly for players who have had a slow start to the season, notably Matthew Stevens, Ben Woollaston and Xiao Guodong who were among those earning useful points this week.
Of course the primary focus is on the local players, and with just one more APTC3 event to come, the race is now very much on for those looking to finish inside the top four of those not already qualified for the tour next year, thus earning a main tour ticket for 2013/14. As is highlighted at the excellent snookerorg (see here), former professionals Jin Long and Mei Xiwen are currently poised to make a return, as are fellow amateurs Li Yuan and Zhao Xintong.
As a constant danger in the wildcard rounds of the full ranking events, it will be good to see Jin Long back on the main tour if he can make it, though of course he has already had a number of spells on the main tour in the pas, albeit in the old ’6-7 event’ seasons. It would be interesting to see how he would fare under the current set-up, I suspect he would be somewhat better equipped to do well…
Next up, the qualifiers for the World Seniors Championship this weekend from Sheffield…