Judgement Day – who has qualified for the 2017 World Championship

The past two days has seen 32 players battle it out knowing one more win will earn them a place in snooker paradise – The Crucible Theatre.

Today (Wednesday) has seen the climax of the World Championship Qualifiers with 16 players ensuring a place in snooker’s biggest showcase event of the year – while the other 16 players have probably gone home broken-hearted.

Each of the qualifiers will play one of snooker’s top 16 stars from Saturday when the World Championship gets underway.

Who the qualifiers will face will be revealed on Thursday morning when the draw for the World Championship first round is made.

So who has made it this year?

Stuart Carrington

Carrington earns a second visit to the Crucible after pulling off an impressive victory against former world champion Mark Williams.

The Grimsby based potter, who next month turns 27, recently made the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open and has taken that form into the World qualifiers.

He made his Crucible debut in 2015 when he lost 10-6 to Judd Trump in the opening round.

Carrington won Junior Pot Black in 2006, beating Anthony McGill in the final at the Crucible.

Tom Ford

Leicester’s Tom Ford secured his place at the Crucible after coming back from behind to beat Iran star Hossein Vafaei.

The world number 32 has ended the season in good form, just like how he started the campaign when he made it through to the final of the Paul Hunter Classic – his first ranking final.

Ford will be hoping it’s third time lucky as he bids to win his first ever match at the Crucible after losing in the first round in his previous two visits in 2010 and 2014.

Noppon Saengkham

There will be big interest in Thailand from Saturday when Noppon Saenkham makes his Crucible debut.

The 24-year-old came back from behind to beat Welshman Lee Walker 10-8 on Judgement Day.

Last year Noppon beat the likes of Neil Robertson and Graeme Dott on route to the quarter-finals of the China Open and is not a player to be treated lightly.

Stephen Maguire

Stephen Maguire. Picture by Monique Limbos

The two-times World Championship semi-finalist and five-times ranking event winner has secured a place at the Crucible for the 14th time on the spin.

Usually earning a top 16 automatic spot, the Glaswegian has had to qualify this year after a drop in form.

But he has made it through in some style comfortably beating Nigel Bond and Li Hang. Not many seeds will want to draw him.

Xiao Guodong

Out of all the qualifiers you could argue Xiao’s has been the most impressive.

The Chinese star makes his second visit to the Crucible after only losing 10 frames in the three qualifying matches. Given his form, he’s a dangerous opponent for one of the seeds.

Last time in 2014 Xiao lost out narrowly to Ali Carter. He will be hoping to show the snooker world that he means business this time around.

Martin Gould

One of the strongest players in the qualifying rounds, it was no surprise to see Martin Gould secure his Crucible spot.

And now that he has got a few wins on the board, none of the top seeds will be happy to face him.

Winner of the German Masters last year, Gould certainly has the game to go on a run at the Crucible.

Graeme Dott

The former world champion ensured his return to the Crucible with a tough 10-8 win over Jamie Jones.

But it has been a season of struggle for Dott who has failed to reach the Last 16 stage of any ranking event this season.

However as we’ve seen over the years, the Crucible usually sees the best in Scotland’s Graeme Dott. A winner in 2006 and runner-up twice, Dott has plenty of experience to cause an upset in the opening round.

Luca Brecel

Luca Brecel will not play at the Crucible this season after losing his first qualifying match.

The Belgian Bullet, as he is nicknamed, will be hoping to shoot down some top seeds on his second visit to the Crucible.

A player who has been rated highly as a promising talent will get to play on snooker’s biggest stage again after his first round defeat five years ago.

Since reaching the German Masters final last year, Brecel has not achieved much else since.

Brecel made snooker history in 2012 when he became the youngest player ever to reach the Crucible at the age of just 17. Now at the age of 22, can the Belgian star prove his worth at the Crucible?

David Grace

Despite a bad run of form so far this year, 31-year-old David Grace has turned it around and qualified for the World Championship for the first time.

Prior to the qualifiers, Grace had lost in the first round of four major ranking events since the start of 2017. His only wins of the calendar came in the single ten-minute frame Snooker Shoot Out competition.

But all that is history after winning all three of his qualifiers. Grace reached the semi-finals of the UK Championship in 2015 – could he spring another surprise this year. If so, it really will be Amazing Grace!

Gary Wilson 

Wilson recorded an impressive 10-3 win over Welshman Michael White to earn a Crucible debut.

On route to Crucible qualification, Wilson hit a 147 maximum break in his second qualifying encounter.

It’s been a rather quiet season so far for Wilson but as he proved to reached the China Open final in 2015 – he has the game to beat anyone.

Wilson was a Newcastle based taxi driver before dedicating himself to snooker. He’ll be hoping it is not to soon when he gets his fayre back home.

Peter Ebdon

The former world champion booked another ticket for Sheffield after winning a deciding frame shootout against Michael Holt.

Winner in 2002 and runner-up on two occasions, Ebdon’s best moments have come at the World Championship.

Though not in the form he was back in the 90s and early 2000s, Ebdon is still a dangerous opponent. Any of the seeds will have to be on top form to avoid Ebdon causing an upset.

Jimmy Robertson

Despite a tough opening qualifier against Cao Yupeng, Jimmy Robertson has enjoyed a comfortable ride towards Crucible qualification with impressive wins over Oliver Lines and Rod Lawler.

Like Tom Ford, Robertson will be hoping it is third time lucky in a bid to win a match at the Crucible.

Robertson is a keen footballer and had trials for Crystal Palace before deciding to focus on the green baize.

Yan Bingtao

Chinese talent Yan Bingtao has continued his impressive young career to date by securing a first trip to the Crucible at the age of 17 – the second youngest ever World Championship qualifier.

Bingtao first made snooker headlines when he won the 2015 Snooker World Cup for China’s B team alongside Zhou Yuelong.

And on his first season as a professional he has wrapped up prize money of almost £90,000 including a quarter-final appearance at the German Masters.

A promising young talent, his first round match will certainly be an interesting one to watch.

Zhou Yuelong

And quite fitting that our next qualifier is Yuelong himself – another debutant to be of course.

The Chinese number three star is enjoying his best snooker season yet having enjoyed a quarter-final run in the Welsh Open and last 16 runs in both the UK Championship and the International Championship.

And Zhou showed his big game temperament when he came through a deciding frame shootout to reach the Crucible – much to Ben Woolllaston’s frustration.

Regarded as a major talent in the game, like Bingtao – a player snooker fans may want to keep an eye on.

Rory McLeod

Six years after his last Crucible appearance, Rory McLeod is back.

The 46-year-old will wear the hat for the oldest player in this year’s draw.

McLeod has kicked on after making the Last 16 of the recent China Open, so clearly is a player enjoying a good spell of form.

Fergal O’Brien

It may of taken a bit of time to get there but after years of narrow defeats in the final qualifying hurdles, Fergal O’Brien can play at the Crucible once again.

You have to go back to seven years ago when O’Brien last hit a cueball in Sheffield’s great theatre.

A former quarter-finalist, O’Brien’s tactical game certainly could frustrate a top seed should they not be on top form.

 

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One thought on “Judgement Day – who has qualified for the 2017 World Championship

  1. Pingback: Who faces who in 2017 World Championship First Round? – The Old Green Baize

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