After more than two weeks of action, there’s only one more day left.
The 2021 Q School is set to conclude on Sunday with 16 players still in with a shot of securing a prized berth on the Main Tour for the next two seasons.
Eight players have already graduated from Q School Events 1 and 2 at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, and there are another six spots up for grabs on day 18 of the high-pressured amateur competition.
Four of those will be awarded to the last competitors standing from Event 3, with two additional professional tickets available via the separate Order of Merit standings.
Out of the remaining 16 cueists, six are attempting to immediately bounce back after only just suffering relegation from the Main Tour last month at the climax of the 2020/21 term.
English trio Ian Burns, Billy Castle, and Mitchell Mann, Chinese pair Lei Peifan and Si Jiahui, and Welshman Duane Jones are all hoping for another crack at the big-time straight away.
Two-time former ranking event winner Michael White and Sanderson Lam are also in the hunt for a return to the elite, with the remaining eight players all attempting to achieve pro status for the first time in their careers.
That bunch includes Irish teenager Ross Bulman, talented young Scot Dean Young, and Luke Pinches – son of Barry who was one of the four players to qualify from Q School Event 2 a week ago.
With two wins still needed in Event 3 to progress, White and Jones encounter each other in an intriguing all-Welsh affair in the penultimate round.
In the Order of Merit, Hammad Miah currently leads the way with 53 points but the former pro was knocked out in the last 32 and only a specific set of circumstances would see him hold onto one of the coveted top two spots.
Miah will have his fingers crossed that results go his way, with Lei, Jones, Mann, and Lam all within striking distance should those players fail to qualify automatically from Event 3.
Q School Event 3 Draw (Last 16)
Mark Lloyd vs Luke Pinches
Ian Burns vs Simon Blackwell
Lei Peifan vs Sanderson Lam
Billy Castle vs David Finbow
Ross Bulman vs Haydon Pinhey
Mitchell Mann vs Dean Young
Duane Jones vs Michael White
Si Jiahui vs Joshua Cooper
Featured photo credit: WST