PATRICK AND CHEN EARN TOUR RETURNS
Chen Zifan and Fraser Patrick regained their places on the World Snooker Tour after coming through Q School event two in Wigan.
Chinese 23-year-old Chen claimed his fresh two-year tour card by whitewashing Hong Kong’s Au Chi Wai 4-0.
Chen dropped off the circuit at the end of last season following a 10-6 defeat against Sunny Akani at World Championship qualifying. He had endured a difficult campaign, only managing to win three matches across the season.
However, Chen produced assured snooker to ease through in Lancashire. He won 24 of 27 frames in event two and insured an immediate bounce back from tour relegation. Chen fired in breaks of 84 and 64 on his way to dispatching 49-year-old Au this afternoon.
Patrick defeated former professional Sydney Wilson 4-1 to seal his return to the tour.
Scotland’s Patrick had to endure a longer professional hiatus than Chen, having dropped off the tour at the end of the 2016/17 season.
“I feel like I am back where I should be,” said Patrick. “There are a lot of ups and downs in snooker. There are more down points than high moments, unless you are Ronnie O’Sullivan or John Higgins. Everyone goes through it. You just have to fight through and see where it takes you.
“You are down on shots and shaking like a leaf. I’ll look at my bridge hand and my thumb is all over the place. This is harder than the main tour pressure-wise. If you don’t do it in these three weeks then that is you for the next year. Whereas on the main tour, if you lose a match, you always have next week. This is all or nothing.”
21-year-old Louis Heathcote battled back from 3-0 down to defeat Chinese youngster Si Jiahui 4-3 to become a professional for the first time.
Heathcote, a former Junior European Champion at eight ball pool, has been attending Q School since 2014 and this year finally forced his way over the line to earn a tour card.
The Leicester potter overturned his 3-0 deficit by rallying to dramatically take the fourth and fifth frames on final blacks to stay in touch at 3-2. A break of 51 then helped him to force a deciding frame, where he composed runs of 38 and 55 to secure a place on the circuit.
Riley Parsons will make his professional debut next season after securing a 4-3 win over former World Seniors Champion Peter Lines. 19-year-old Parsons took the final two frames of the match to come from 3-2 down to secure victory.
“Words can’t describe how I am feeling. I’m just absolutely buzzing and speechless,” said Parsons. “I’ve always been talented, but I seem to play my best against better players. It makes me raise my game. I beat Alexander Ursenbacher earlier on in the week and that was a massive boost to my confidence. I thought after beating him that I could beat anyone.”
Source: World Snooker