It was a quieter week on the baize but silverware was still handed out, and there was a new member added to an exclusive snooker centuries club too.
Trump’s Ton Watch
Throughout the season, we’ve been keeping a close eye on Judd Trump’s relentless pace in the break-building department.
The world number one, who equalled the record for most ranking events in a single season last weekend by triumphing in the Players Championship, has been compiling snooker centuries for fun.
Trump has another milestone in his sights and looks set to become only the second player to tally a hundred tons in one campaign.
Neil Robertson’s record of 103 from the 2013/14 term is under considerable threat, with Trump now requiring just 15 more to match the achievements of the Australian.
During the climax to the Championship League this week, the world champion added a few more to his career total, meaning Trump has become only the fifth player ever to surpass 700 snooker centuries in competitive play.
Trump looks set to smash Ronnie O’Sullivan’s career record at some point in the future, but with three ranking tournaments left before the end of this season he’ll be focusing first on overhauling Robertson’s landmark figure.
Trump isn’t completely infallible, though, and the 30 year-old failed to win the Championship League for what would have been a record fourth time during the week.
The Englishman found himself surrounded by a selection of Scotsmen in the semi-finals of the Winners’ Group as the invitational reached its conclusion on Thursday.
Perth’s Scott Donaldson beat Trump in the penultimate round and duly overcame countryman Graeme Dott, who pipped Anthony McGill in the other last four clash, in the final.
It marked the first professional title of Donaldson’s career, having steadily risen his way up the ranks during his eight years on the Main Tour.
Donaldson pocketed £10,000 plus additional bonuses for frames won throughout the unique competition that’s played behind closed doors.
Perhaps more importantly, the 25 year-old will feature in the prestigious Champion of Champions later this year.
Lukas Kleckers beat Andreas Ploner 3-2 in the Last 32 of Challenge Tour event 10 so the German will receive a two year tour card! Congratulations Lukas @KleckersLukas
— Adam @SnookerInfo (@SnookerInfo147) March 1, 2020
Kleckers Clicks into Gear
The last two events of the Challenge Tour season were played last weekend, with Ashley Hugill finishing on top of the rankings after the completion of the ten tournaments.
Hugill was the only player to win more than one event throughout the series that is now in its second year.
Yet, as the 25 year-old from York already gained a professional ticket by emerging victorious in the WSF Open in January, the automatic Main Tour promotion slot will instead be awarded to the player ranked second on the Challenge Tour order of merit.
Happy days then for Germany’s Lukas Kleckers, who finished the year strongly with a win of his own in addition to several runs to the latter stages of events.
Kleckers was previously on the pro circuit between 2017 and 2019, so the 23 year-old will be hoping to enjoy a longer stint the second time around.
Meanwhile, the competitors ranked from third to tenth will compete in a play-off tournament later in March for the remaining available spot on the Main Tour.
The China Open qualifiers were supposed to be happening in the next few days but the lucrative ranking event in Beijing has been cancelled due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Next week, the players will compete in the Gibraltar Open, the final event in the inaugural European Series with Trump and Robertson going head-to-head for the £150,000 bonus.
Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)