PTC5: Ding Downs Welsh Dragon to kickstart season

Click for the updated projected seedings…

Having missed the first few events of the 2010/11 Players Tour Championship, Ding Junhui has taken some time to find his form this season but by winning the fifth event of the competition tonight he has got himself up and running now…

What do Anthony McGill, Jack Lisowski, Andrew Pagett and Jimmy Robertson have in common? Yep, all are lower ranked players who have grasped the opportunity presented to the by the new Players Tour Championship and you can now add Welshman Jamie Jones to that list as he defeated a string of talented players this weekend to break through to his first professional final.

After those wins against the likes of Ricky Walden and Martin Gould however, Chinese number one Ding Junhui was to prove an obstacle too tough as he came through to take a 4-1 victory and secure an extra 2,000 ranking points. This win lifts him up to fourth in my provisional seedings list, the one that will be finalised following the UK Championship and determine the seedings for the Welsh Open and German Masters tournaments.

Despite this result though, Ding cannot qualify for the Players Tour Championship finals next year as he has not played in enough of the events this season. For what it’s worth it does move him up the Order of Merit though and into the top 24.

Photo courtesy of Janie Watkins

For Jamie Jones meanwhile the result is an excellent one and one that sends him up ten places to 56 in my provisional seedings list. Having made it to the tour on a few occasions in the past without being able to establish himself, perhaps the new tour structure will help him to now do so at last. Still just 22 of age (it is easy to forget that, he has been around for so long), he has plenty of time on his side.

Finally a shout out for Snookerbacker and his sources from the venue who have done a sterling job of covering the event this weekend and keeping us as in the loop as possible with just a mobile phone and a Twitter account as the official livescoring service has faltered once again.

I have moaned often enough about the state of the livescoring service before and SB does it far better than me so I shall stop there, but I have to be honest and say that even as a big snooker fan of many years, my interest in the PTC is beginning to wane due to the inaccessibility of it. If I am feeling like that then what must others be thinking? Will those spectators in attendance at the World Open even be aware that the events are on?

It can be argued that the main purpose of these events is not to bring in the fans, instead to give the players regular matches and an opportunity to win some money between the major tournaments. With so many snooker fans out there who are keen to watch and follow this event however, if they cannot do so then perhaps some of them will be turned off, not what snooker needs at the moment…