Phil Haigh ✍️
Four more players are back on the World Snooker Tour as Zak Surety, Aaron Hill, Sanderson Lam and Adam Duffy made it through Q School Event 2 at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.
Eight of the 12 two-year tour cards have been taken now after Fergal O’Brien, Rod Lawler, Andy Lee and Bai Langning came through Event 1, with the third and final event starting on Saturday (28 May).
Surety was the first to come through on Friday, beating Belgian teenager Ben Mertens 4-2 after twice falling behind, to bounce straight back onto the tour after dropping off at the end of last season.
The 30-year-old didn’t exactly enjoy the Q School experience, but was thrilled to keep his professional dream alive.
‘That was horrible,’ said Surety. ‘I needed Ben to feel how he did there for me to win that, because I was jelly.
‘I try and tell myself that it’s not just me feeling this bad, you look around and everyone’s sweating and shaking. I can’t even hold a cup of water out there. They give you plastic cups now and it’s falling over, it’s like, “What am I doing?”‘
Hill was next through as the 20-year-old Irishman proved that he is still one of the brightest young talents in the game by beating Zhao Jianbo 4-1, knocking in a break of 110 in the opening frame.
The youngster dropped just three frames in his five games to make it through and is still aiming for the very top of the sport as he bounces straight back onto tour.
The Irishman famously beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the European Masters at the very start of his professional career when he came on tour as an 18-year-old. He is confident that he can fulfil the immense potential he showed that day.
‘100% [I’m aiming for the top of the game], I won’t let those people down, the people that have stuck with me,’ Hill told Metro.co.uk.
‘They know what I’m capable of, I know what I’m capable of.
‘I can beat anybody on my day. All this experience and confidence is all going to build up and I believe there’s a long, long career for me in this game.’
Sanderson Lam is back on tour for the first time since 2019 after beating Steven Hallworth 4-3 in a cracking contest.
Lam forged a 3-1 lead before Hallworth forced a decider with breaks of 92 and 77 and then got ahead in the final frame, but Sanderson held his nerve, making a 60 to get over the line.
‘To be fair, I didn’t think I did much wrong at 3-1 up, he’s come back at me, had two really good breaks,’ he said. ‘Then I thought, “Oh, here we go.” But then he was unlucky in the decider, going in-off and I’ve somehow potted a good long red and made just enough to win.
‘I’m really proud of myself, because I was bang under it there.
‘It’s hard as well because me and Steven are very good friends, obviously there has to be a loser but, it’s just really tough out there.’
Adam Duffy was the final man through on Friday, edging out Daniel Wells 4-3 in a real slug-fest between the experienced players.
Sheffield’s Duffy is back on tour for the first time since 2018 and had to fight for it, winning the sixth frame on the black to force a decider before winning the final frame.
‘I just feel numb, really, because Danny’s a good mate of mine,’ Duffy told Metro.co.uk. ‘He’s my best pal on the tour, I don’t think any of us can enjoy it.’
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