Scott Donaldson is the latest player to guarantee himself a spot in the Championship League Winners’ Group at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
The Scot emerged as the winner of Group 5 on Saturday to move one step closer to reclaiming the invitational title he previously won in 2020.
Donaldson won four out of his six round-robin fixtures to reach the knockout phase, and he subsequently edged Kyren Wilson in a high-scoring semi-final battle that needed a deciding frame.
All five frames were again required in the final against reigning Welsh Open winner Jordan Brown, with Donaldson knocking in a break of 88 in the decider to clinch it.
As a result, Donaldson will feature in the Winners’ Group of the Championship League next month alongside Liang Wenbo, Graeme Dott, Zhao Xintong, and Stuart Bingham.
There are two more spots up for grabs, with Group 6 and Group 7 of the non-ranking edition of the competition scheduled for later in January.
Brown, Wilson, Ali Carter, and Martin Gould will each have another opportunity to qualify but David Gilbert, who won the Championship League earlier this season that was staged as a ranking event under a different format, and Lu Ning bow out after finishing bottom of Group 5.
Ding Junhui, Yan Bingtao, and Ricky Walden are expected to be the newcomers entering the fray when Group 6 takes place after the Masters.
Featured photo credit: WST