Season Starts Again With Paul Hunter Classic

The Main Tour resumes after almost a month off with the Paul Hunter Classic in Furth on Wednesday.

Paul Hunter Classic Trophy
Ali Carter is the defending champion having got his hands on this new trophy last year. 

The PHC is one of only three European Tour events to survive the cull from last season, alongside the Riga Masters and the Gibraltar Open.

A large quantity of amateurs have thus entered the event in Germany and the preliminary rounds start tomorrow before the main event gets under way on Friday.

Quite a few of the big names are absent for this one, somewhat unusually considering the respect that the tournament has garnered in the last number of years along with the fact that it is one of the most impressively supported competitions on the calendar.

The current and previous world champions Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham will be in action, though, as will Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen who will make his maiden appearance of an already three-month old season.

However, there’s once again no Ronnie O’Sullivan while joining him on the sidelines are marquee names Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy, Judd Trump, John Higgins and Mark Williams.

But recent World Open champion Ali Carter and the man he beat in that final in Yushan, Joe Perry, will be making the short trip south into continental Europe.

Young talented foursome Kyren Wilson, Anthony McGill, Michael White and Luca Brecel are also in the last 128 draw hoping to get their hands on the coveted trophy.

Irish duo Fergal O’Brien and Josh Boileau take part, but countryman Ken Doherty hasn’t entered which is somewhat of a surprise considering his potentially dangerous slide down the world rankings of late.

The 1997 world champion is provisionally 61st on the standings with only the top 64 guaranteed their professional cards for the next term.

Boileau will be hoping to make a better fist of his rookie start following the disappointment of three defeats in quick succession back at the start of the summer, but faces a difficult opener in fourth seed Ricky Walden.

There are number of Irishmen in the amateur rounds as well, with Greg Casey and Tony Corrigan unfortunate enough to draw each other in Wednesday’s first qualifying round.

The Paul Hunter Classic is played under the best of seven format all the way through to the final on Sunday, with €25,000 on offer for the champion.

Click here to view the full draw.

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