When does O’Sullivan return to action after Welsh Open absence?

When does O’Sullivan return to action after Welsh Open absence?



Updated 16/02/2024 at 10:17 GMT

Ronnie O’Sullivan will chase a fifth major trophy of the season when he returns to action at the Players Championship in Telford. O’Sullivan has enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career with title wins at the Shanghai Masters, UK Championship, Masters and World Grand Prix boosting his prospects of lifting the Players for a third time. Judd Trump is the top seed for the £385,000 event.

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Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump will return to action at the Players Championship in Telford next week as the top two seeds at the elite ranking event.

Only the top 16 on the sport’s one-year list qualify for the Players Championship with Trump handed the top ranking in the draw and O’Sullivan second seed with the winner earning a £125,000 first prize.

Both O’Sullivan and Trump are chasing a third victory at the tournament with O’Sullivan provisionally scheduled to meet Zhou Yuelong in a best-of-11 frames first-round opener and Trump in line to face the 16th player on the one-year list.

Fifteen of the top 16 have been confirmed with former Shoot Out winner Chris Wakelin holding the final place in the draw, but he needs results to go for him over the weekend at the Welsh Open to secure his trip to the Telford International Centre (19-25 February).

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A Welsh Open title win and £80,000 winner’s cheque on Sunday evening for world champion Luca Brecel, Dominic Dale, Martin O’Donnell, Anthony McGill or Elliott Slessor would see Wakelin lose his spot.

Shaun Murphy won the Players trophy last year with a 10-4 final win over Ali Carter, but has failed to qualify for this year’s tournament following his 4-3 defeat to Barry Pinches in the first round of the Welsh Open.

Murphy is in good company in missing out with Neil Robertson, Kyren Wilson, Jack Lisowski, Robert Milkins, Si and Stuart Bingham all failing to qualify for the tournament.

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2024 Players Championship qualifiers

  • 1. Judd Trump (Eng) 526,000
  • 2. Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) 406,500
  • 3. Zhang Anda (Chn) 279,000
  • 4. Mark Williams (Wal) 193,000
  • 5. Ding Junhui (Chn) 173,000
  • 6. Barry Hawkins (Eng) 172,000
  • 7. Tom Ford (Eng) 162,000
  • 8. Ali Carter (Eng) 135,500
  • 9. Mark Selby (Eng) 129,000
  • 10. Gary Wilson (Eng) 127,500
  • 11. John Higgins (Sco) 116,000
  • 12. Mark Allen (NI) 114,500
  • 13. Hossein Vafaei (Ira) 104,000
  • 14. Noppon Saengkham (Tha) 99,500
  • 15. Zhou Yuelong (Chn) 93,000
  • 16. Chris Wakelin (Eng) 90,000
  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
  • 30. Dominic Dale (Wal) 60,000
  • 36. Martin O’Donnell (Eng) 51,500
  • 38. Luca Brecel (Bel) 50,500
  • 40. Anthony McGill (Sco) 50,000
  • 43. Elliott Slessor (Eng) 44,000

* players in bold still competing at Welsh Open

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