They are the first two players to advance from phase two of the competition.
Ali Carter topped Group 1 of the WST Pro Series ahead of Mark Williams after winning six out of his seven league encounters on Wednesday in Milton Keynes.
As the second stage of the new ranking event got under way, the Captain was in fine form and lost just four frames throughout the day’s play.
Carter’s only reverse came against Williams, a result that proved crucial as the Welshman sealed second place on frame difference.
Martin O’Donnell and Sunny Akani boasted the same number of round-robin points as Williams, but their inferior frame-difference record ensured that they were eliminated from the tournament.
Lyu Haotian, Louis Heathcote, James Cahill, and Ben Hancorn also failed to muster enough victories and have been knocked out.
Carter and Williams, meanwhile, head to the final group stage of the Pro Series that will take place on Sunday, with six more competitors set to join them there in the coming days.
WST Pro Series Draw: Stage Two
|GROUP 1 (March 17th)||GROUP 2 (March 18th)|
|Mark Williams||Kyren Wilson|
|Ali Carter||Shaun Murphy|
|GROUP 3 (March 19th)||GROUP 4 (March 20th)|
|Jack Lisowski||Judd Trump|
|Barry Hawkins||Mark Selby|
|Joe Perry||Stuart Bingham|
|Luca Brecel||Zhou Yuelong|
|Mark Davis||Ricky Walden|
|Sam Craigie||Ryan Day|
|Luo Honghao||Dominic Dale|
|Fergal O’Brien||Oliver Lines|
What is the WST Pro Series?
The format for the WST Pro Series is quite similar to that which was utilised for two out of the three editions of the Championship League that were staged during 2020.
There are 16 groups comprising eight players in each, with a round-robin phase determining the top two who will advance to the second group stage.
Eight groups in the first stage already took place in January, while the outcome from the remaining eight groups will be determined over the coming days.
The 32 players who progress to stage two will be split into four more groups of eight, with the top two again moving forward from each to contest the final group.
That remaining set of eight players will subsequently battle it out in the same fashion to become the overall champion.
There is a total tournament prize fund of £420,500, broken down in various ways throughout the three group stages.
The winner, however, stands to collect at least £30,000 in an event that incorporates a sprint best-of-three frames format throughout.
Live coverage will be available via an account with several online bookmakers, as well as around the world through the Matchroom.Live streaming service.
Click here to view the full draw (Times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST