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China Championship 2017 - Qualifying Preview

China Championship 2017 - Qualifying Preview

Over 100 of snooker's top players descend on the Guild Hall, Preston next week (3-6 June 2017) for the qualifiers for the China Championship 2017, a brand new ranking event which will be held in China during August later this season.

Read on for the full preview...

Unlike many other new tournaments in recent seasons, the China Championship matches start off a best-of-9, culminating in a best-of-19 final. The tournament was staged as an invitational event last season where John Higgins beat Stuart Bingham 10-7 in the final.

Total prize money for this year's tournament will be £700,000, with the winner picking up a cool £150,000, one of the biggest payouts on the pro snooker tour.

Many of the top players, including world champion Mark Selby, Ding Junhui and John Higgins, have had their matches held over to the main venue in China.

Mark Selby SnookerSelby having was Sizzling Hot when he won at the Crucible for a third time in four years earlier this month, will be full of confidence as he takes on a yet-to-be-known Chinese wildcard in his first match, a relatively simple start for him.

Higgins, who Selby beat in the world final recently, also plays a Chinese player in the shape of Lü Haotian. Another one with talent but has struggled in recent seasons.

Home favourite Ding Junhui also has, what looks like on paper, an easy first round draw against Chinese newcomer Niu Zhuang.

Surprisingly fan favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan's match against recent Q School graduate Zhang Yong is not held over to the main venue in China. Depending on how much O'Sullivan has practiced ahead of the qualifiers will decide how comfortably he could progress.

Two-time world champion Mark Williams recently announced he'd joined the SightRight coaching group and is definitely playing with more confidence recently, reaching the final of the China Open at the end of last season. Williams faces fellow Welshman Jak Jones who struggled for consistency last season.

Other exciting ties in the draw include Ryan Day v legend Jimmy White, Marco Fu v new Q School graduate Sanderson Lam, and former world champion Peter Ebdon taking on fellow tour veteran Nigel Bond.

For the complete draw and all the results from the China Championship 2017 qualifiers, head to Snooker.org

Posted May 24, 2017   
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16-22 Aug 2017

Guangzhou, China

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