The 16 snooker players who will take part in this year’s Champion of Champions in Bolton are now confirmed.
Mark Allen’s successful defence of the Northern Ireland Open on Sunday earned him the final ticket to the lucrative invitational tournament next week.
The Pistol won the last eight frames of the title decider against Zhou Yuelong to prevail for a second time on home turf at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
It’s a fitting reward for Allen who twelve months ago was forced to withdraw from the 2021 edition of the Champion of Champions for personal reasons.
The 36 year-old will head into the 2022 tournament as the man in form this term, however, having made the finals of the last two ranking events on the calendar.
- CLICK HERE: Mark Allen wins Northern Ireland Open again
Joining Allen in the Champion of Champions are 14 other winners from the last year in snooker.
Judd Trump returns as the reigning champion following his 10-4 defeat of John Higgins in last year’s showdown for glory.
Fellow former champion Higgins is also back in the field thanks to his triumph in the non-ranking version of the Championship League earlier this year.
Among the other favourites will be Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson, who have won six trophies between them including the World Championship and Masters repsectively.
UK champion Zhao Xintong and European Masters winner Kyren Wilson are a couple of other names in the draw who many will fancy to go far.
Luca Brecel and Ryan Day are the two remaining members of the top 16 who are involved – the former thanks to victories in the Scottish Open and the ranking version of the Championship League, and the latter after his recent win at the British Open.
The beauty of this invitation event is that it rewards – for the most part – silverware, meaning places for players who might not normally feature in such a prestigious comp.
Robert Milkins, Hossein Vafaei, and Fan Zhengyi earn spots courtesy of their maiden ranking successes in the Gibraltar Open, Shoot Out, and European Masters.
Joe Perry also returns to the fold for the first time since 2016 after capturing the Welsh Open in March.
Mink Nutcharut will participate as the world women’s champion, while Lee Walker is involved thanks to his victory in the World Seniors Championship.
The only one in the 16-player field who has not won anything is Mark Selby, who has been invited off his world ranking to make up the numbers.
The 2022 Champion of Champions takes place from October 31 to November 6.
Champion of Champions snooker lineup
|Judd Trump||Champion of Champions; World Championship runner-up|
|Ronnie O’Sullivan||World Championship; World Grand Prix, Hong Kong Masters|
|Neil Robertson||Masters; Players Championship; Tour Championship|
|Zhao Xintong||UK Championship; German Masters|
|Fan Zhengyi||European Masters (21/22)|
|John Higgins||Championship League (invitational)|
|Luca Brecel||Championship League (ranking); Scottish Open|
|Kyren Wilson||European Masters (22/23)|
|Joe Perry||Welsh Open|
|Mark Allen||Northern Ireland Open|
|Ryan Day||British Open|
|Robert Milkins||Gibraltar Open|
|Hossein Vafaei||Snooker Shoot Out|
|Nutcharut Wongharuthai||Women’s World Championship|
|Lee Walker||World Seniors Championship|
|Mark Selby||World Rankings|
Featured photo credit: WST