AMATEUR Sean O’Sullivan hopes his impressive run in last week’s Riga Open is the start of better times ahead as he bids to retain his tour place.
O’Sullivan, who suffered relegation from the main tour last season, stormed into the quarter-finals of this season’s first European Tour event after gaining wins against Jamie Burnett, Mark Joyce and world number 18 Mark Davis along the way.
The London based potter was the most successful amateur in Latvia’s first ever snooker event after winning six games before losing to eventual finalist Mark Allen in the quarter-finals.
His good run was his personal best at any event he has played in during his young career.
O’Sullivan could retain his professional status if he ends the season as one of the top eight ranked players in the European Order of Merit standings – outside a list of players who will have already secured their tour place for next season.
And the 20-year-old told The Old Green Baize he was working as hard as ever in a bid to get back his place on the main snooker tour.
“Riga was a massive confidence builder for me – just knowing I can compete with the big players and to beat the likes of Mark Davis who has been a top 16 player and Mark Joyce who is in the top 32 is great,” he said.
“Hopefully I can now kick on. Even though I’m not on the main tour anymore, competing in the European Tour events allows you to play with the top players.
“The win against Mark Davis was big as it enabled me to get into the last eight and if I want to retain my tour card next year I will have to beat the likes of them kind of players to get to the ranking I need to be.
“Since the World Championships I have only had a span of four days off so I’m just glad to see I’m getting what I deserve. I’ve been playing good snooker for a while now and I think it’s starting to click.
“Hopefully I can get back on the tour and then start doing some damage. I’m working as hard as ever to get back on it.
“I owe my family and coach Steve Feeney a lot as they have done a lot for me.”
O’Sullivan’s coach Steve Feeney, managing director of SightRight, added: “Sean’s a very talented lad and I’m very proud of him.
“He’s coming on leaps and bounds and his wins in Riga over Jamie Burnett, Mark Joyce and Mark Davis shows what he is capable of.”