The fourth and final UK Players Tour Championship event of the season is down to its final 16 players after two action-packed days at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.
Also known as the Kay Suzanne Memorial Cup, a lot of players wear pink t-shirts in support of breast cancer awareness – it being the disease that prematurely ended SWSA owner Paul Mount’s sister’s life.
As such, and because it is one of the last chances for the players to earn valuable prize money that could see them qualify via the Order of Merit for the lucrative Grand Finals next March, a significant number of high-profile names are still in the draw for Wednesday’s final day.
Arguably, the stand-out performance so far has come from new world no.1 Judd Trump, who fired in three successive century breaks against Jimmy White en route to a 4-0 hiding and a place in round four.
Ironically, Trump’s play had been patchy in his previous two matches and was fortunate enough to come through unscathed against Martin O’Donnell 4-3 and then Simon Bedford 4-2.
But two runs of 105 – one while on for a maximum before losing position on the 14th black – and a 106 asserted his dominance over the ‘Whirlwind’, who had himself played well to beat Ian Glover and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh earlier in the day.
Trump was joined in the last 16 on Tuesday by a host of star-studded names that includes former world champions Mark Williams and Graeme Dott, as well as UK champion Ding Junhui.
Yesterday, Mark Selby and John Higgins advanced while there was a day to remember for some of the more senior players on the tour as well.
Steve Davis notched up two close victories before recording a surprisingly one sided 4-1 triumph over Matthew Stevens while Tony Drago played some superb snooker in beating David Grace and Jack Lisowski.
The bigger names haven’t had it all their own way, though, and there’s a nice mix of international players in the last 16 as well as a few young up and coming talents – one an amateur in Kyren Wilson.
Wilson has showed a lot of promise in the last couple of years but today was his breakthrough moment as he knocked out three stellar pros in Tom Ford, Jamie Jones and, most impressively of all, Scot Stephen Maguire.
Thai duo Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon and Dechawat Poomjaeng each enjoyed 4-2 scorelines over Michael Holt and Gerard Greene respectively while Mark Joyce edged namesake Mark Allen just before midnight tonight 4-3.
Finally, the four other players through from yesterday were Anthony Hamilton, Michael Wasley, Barry Hawkins and Ian Burns.
Irish pair Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien both went out in the last 64 with tight defeats in deciders.
If there’s anyone who lives near Gloucester and has never been to the SWSA, I would highly recommend making the trip tomorrow to take in some action because it could be the last time for quite a while that professional snooker is played at the venue.
You will be greeted with a warm reception from the staff and in terms of a facility set up specifically with a snooker tournament of this nature in mind, it is second to none.
The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.