Phil Haigh ✍️
Shaun Murphy believes the World Snooker Championship format is ‘absolutely ridiculous’ as he feels that the top 16 in the rankings beginning at the last 32 stage ‘doesn’t make sense’.
Before all the drama at the Crucible every year there is a rigorous qualification competition, to see which 16 players lower down the rankings will join the world’s top 16 on the sport’s most famous stage.
While some would argue that they have earned it, Murphy feels that it is far too big an advantage for the top 16, of which he is one.
Players near the bottom of the rankings need to win four matches just to make the Crucible and Murphy believes the advantage being given to the best players is akin to Usain Bolt starting races 15 metres in front of his rivals.
The 2005 world champ says it is almost scandalous and would have a flat draw for the sport’s biggest tournament.
‘If it were up to me the entire format of the World Championship would change,’ Murphy said on The onefourseven podcast. ‘The top 16 would NEVER start three or four rounds ahead of everyone else on tour.
‘I think it’s absolutely ridiculous, scandalous almost that the best players in the world start three rounds ahead of everyone else. I think it’s ridiculous and one of those very strange nuances in sport.
‘Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, the equivalent is saying: “Usain, we know you’re the quickest so you can start 15 metres ahead of everyone else.” Doesn’t make any sense to me at all.’
While he was in the mood for changing things on the World Snooker Tour, the Magician also reckons the Masters should be a ranking event.
While the top 16 play in the London competition, his argument is that it is not invitational, anyone on tour can win their way into the top 16 so prize money should count on the world rankings, which is not currently the case.
‘The one thing I would change to the Masters tomorrow, because it’s done on the rankings and in my opinion, certainly over the two-year ranking list people have the same opportunities to be in it,’ said the 40-year-old.
‘If it were up to me all events would count on the money list. That would be the only think I would change about the Masters.
‘I think it’s very, very strange that what has widely become acknowledged as our second biggest tournament in the game doesn’t count. I think that’s a weird one and I don’t subscribe to the arguments against that.’
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