Two Whites in the opposite ends of their careers made it through to the final round of qualifying for the German Masters today at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield.
Veteran Jimmy White withstood a mini-revival from opponent Stuart Carrington to eventually prevail 5-3 for the second time this week and was aided by a top break of 124.
The Londoner, who turns 50 next May, is still playing some decent snooker on the tour and has steadily risen back up the rankings in the last 18 months.
Although the points he earns will not come into effect until the next cut-off point in the New Year, the ‘Whirlwind’ appears set to climb back into the top 48 in the world which would potentially mean having to only require two qualifying rounds to make the next World Championship.
White arguably has landed the dream draw of the players ranked between 17 and 32 in the third qualifying round with Peter Ebdon his final opponent.
This might seem peculiar with Ebdon being a former world and UK champion but the 41 year-old’s form has been so poor this season that he has only picked up a handful of victories in six months.
That said, Ebdon has notoriously been one of the most determined fighters the sport has produced and tomorrow’s clash will pit two legends of yesteryear against each other once again.
By contrast, Michael White, at only 20 years of age, is only embarking on his professional journey and has shown the form in recent months to suggest that he could be a star of the future.
The Welshman knocked in two century breaks en route to dispatching Xiao Guodong 5-2 and will challenge Mark Davis for a seat on the plane to Berlin next February.
Ironically, the Englishman beat White 6-2 only a few weeks ago to reach the upcoming UK Championship so the latter may have an air of revenge on his mind.
Like White, countryman Jamie Jones and Sam Craigie of England could be on the verge of reaching their maiden ranking events after 5-2 triumphs over Ben Woollaston and David Grace respectively.
Elsewhere, Mike Dunn followed up his superb victory on Tuesday that boasted a 147 maximum break with a second successive 5-0 drubbing – this time over Adam Wicheard.
Irishman David Morris could not repeat his win yesterday and fell to a disappointing 5-3 defeat to Paul Davison – a fellow lowly ranked cueist who Morris probably would have felt he had the beating of.
Robert Milkins denied Steve Davis another successful qualifying tournament following a 5-1 victory over the six-time world champion while there were other wins for former world number three James Wattana and Chinese trio Liu Song, Yu Delu and Liu Chuang.
Three deciders in the last session of Thursday ensured for a tense evening with Andy Hicks coming through against Alan McManus, Anthony McGill edging Adam Duffy while the ‘Sheriff’ Anthony Hamilton and ‘Outlaw’ Joe Swail are currently locked in their final frame at the time of writing. (post-midnight)
Finally, Peter Lines and Adrian Gunnell are both within one more round of qualifying after wins over Jamie Burnett and Jimmy Robertson.
The full results and draw can be viewed by clicking here.
UPDATE: Anthony Hamilton won the final frame on the pink to beat Joe Swail 5-4.