Mitchell Mann rose to the top of the Challenge Tour Order of Merit after winning the fourth event of the inaugural campaign in Germany on Tuesday.
The Englishman had already reached a final, a semi-final, and a quarter-final over the last few months and his consistency eventually paid off as he beat Welshman Dylan Emery 3-0 in the Furth final.
Mann grew in strength as the tournament progressed, beginning the two-day comp with a hard-fought 3-2 triumph over countryman John Foster before 3-1 victories against Charlie Walters, Jake Nicholson, and David Grace – the winner of Challenge Tour event two.
In the last four, Former Crucible contender Mann whitewashed Ben Hancorn before repeating the same scoreline in the final showdown with a high break of 66.
With the £2,000 cheque for lifting the trophy, Mann is now in pole position to claim one of the two Main Tour spots that are available at the end of the Challenge Tour season, which is set to contain ten tournaments in total.
Brandon Sargeant, the winner of event one back in June, had a disappointing outing and lost in the last 16 for the first time in the series to drop to second place overall in the Order of Merit standings.
Sargeant boasts just a £200 advantage over Grace in third place with veteran Barry Pinches and young trio Steven Hallworth, Jackson Page, and James Cahill not too far adrift.
Once again, however, the tournament was bereft of entries with only 41 cueists in action despite the fact that every edition is supposed to involve up to 72 players.
This comes after the third Challenge Tour event, which was staged in Latvia, featured a woeful 24 competitors.
It’s without doubt that the Challenge Tour is a positive step in the right direction for the amateur players looking to play more often, win a little money, and perhaps discover an avenue into the professional scene.
However, it has become clear that its structure is not working and that something drastic will need to occur if the venture is going to continue successfully beyond this term.