Congratulations to Stuart Bingham who has today defeated Liang Wenbo 4-1 to win the Asian Tour Four event in Dongguan, his first title of the season and third Asian Tour event overall since their introduction in 2012. The victory means that Stuart will take home the top prize of £10,000, as well as a special gift from the sponsors as he has tweeted earlier today.
Aside from Stuart’s success, the end of this end also marks the end of the 2013/14 Asian Tour, now confirming who has qualified for the Players Championship Grand Finals later this month and which four player will earn a tour-year tour card from the list.
Click below for more on the various ranking implications from this tournament…
- Click here to view the final results from AT4
- Click here to view the latest projected seedings
- Click here to view the latest provisional money list
- Click here to view the final Asian Tour Order of Merit
- Click here to view the final European Tour Order of Merit
As regulars of the blog will be aware, as well as the individual titles on offer during the Asian Tour, the money earned from the four events staged this season all contribute to a final Asian Tour Order of Merit.
From that Order of Merit, there are four main tour places, as well as eight spots in the Players Championship Grand Finals on offer as I shall now explain…
Main Tour Places
The four highest players on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, not already qualified for the main tour next season by finishing inside of the top 64 on main two-year money list following this year’s World Championship, will earn a two-year tour card for the 2014/15 & 2015/16 seasons.
At present these players are as follows:
- Ju Reti
- Liu Chuang
- Lu Chenwei
- Zhou Yuelong
Of these players, Ju Reti was the winner of the second Asian Tour event of the season, while current professional Liu Chuang, currently down in 76th place on the money list, will also retain his card despite not entering this week’s final Asian Tour event.
Fourth placed Zhou Yuelong’s name is not highlighted however, because he already looks to be qualified by virtue of his victory at the 2013 IBSF World Championship back in Latvia last December. This could potentially open up the door for Rouzi Maimaiti, who is the next eligible man on the Asian list to take the final spot.
Players Championship Grand Finals
The eight highest players on the Asian Tour Order of Merit also qualify for the Players Championship Grand Finals in Preston later this month.
- Liang Wenbo
- Ju Reti
- Stuart Bingham
- Joe Perry
- Lyu Haotian
- Mark Selby
- Michael Holt
- Scott Donaldson
There are however a couple of points to clarify, due to both Stuart Bingham and Mark Selby ‘double qualifying’ having also finished inside of the top 24 on the European Tour Order of Merit.
In Bingham’s case, due to him finishing higher on the Asian list (third as opposed to 17th), he takes his spot from that list and the extra place on the European Order of Merit goes to 25th placed Barry Hawkins.
Conversely, Mark Selby finished higher on the European list, which means that his spot from the Asian Order of Merit will go to ninth placed Yu Delu.
What this means is that we now know not only the 32 confirmed players who will be in action in Preston from 25th March 2014, but also how they will be seeded, in accordance with a combined Order of Merit, made up of all money earned from both the European and Asian Tour events staged this season:
- Mark Allen – £45,250
- Mark Selby – £42,716
- Ronnie O’Sullivan – £38,616
- Mark Williams – £30,683
- Shaun Murphy – £29,499
- John Higgins – £27,550
- Ricky Walden – £25,100
- Stuart Bingham – £22,983
- Ding Junhui – £20,933
- Liang Wenbo – £20,483
- Judd Trump – £20,249
- Fergal O’Brien – £17,199
- Sam Baird – £16,351
- Joe Perry – £15,682
- Marco Fu – £15,300
- Stephen Maguire – £14,766
- Neil Robertson – £14,083
- Gerard Greene – £13,383
- Jamie Jones – £13,300
- Gary Wilson – £13,232
- Ben Woollaston – £12,916
- David Gilbert – £12,883
- Ju Reti – £12,200
- Ryan Day – £11,550
- Scott Donaldson – £11,399
- Michael Holt – £11,215
- Jimmy Robertson – £10,716
- Mark Davis – £10,650
- Anthony Hamilton – £10,234
- Barry Hawkins – £9,683
- Yu Delu – £6,000
- Lyu Haotian – £5,600
The top 16 in bold will therefore be seeded, therefore avoiding each other in the opening round. Hopefully the full draw will be published by World Snooker over the coming days.
Race to the Crucible
For those of you following the World Championship seedings race on the latest projected seedings list, I have today updated the list to add in the minimum points earned by those who have qualified for the PC Grand Finals via the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Perhaps the most important consequence of this is the additional cushion given to Joe Perry in his battle for an automatic place at the Crucible, while Scott Donaldson also moves up to 64th place, which if he can remain there will mean that he will have to win one less match if he is to make it as far as the Crucible this year.
A more in depth post will follow on the battle for Crucible spots during the next week at the Haikou World Open in due course.