QUALIFYING DRAW - DRAW SHEET AND FORMAT - BOOK TICKETS
-- EDIT 16/04/2012 - UPDATED DRAW & RESULTS FROM THE CRUCIBLE --
The seeding-cut off point for the sport's blue riband event fell after the Welsh Open, which was won on Sunday by Ding Junhui.
The top 16 players now qualify automatically for the £1.1million event at the famous Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The full line up in draw order is:
John Higgins v qualifier (Saturday April 21 10am and 7pm)
Stuart Bingham v qualifier (Saturday April 21 2.30pm and Sunday April 22 7pm)
Graeme Dott v qualifier (Tuesday April 24 2.30pm and Wednesday April 25 10am)
Stephen Maguire v qualifier (Sunday April 22 10am and Monday April 23 10am)
Shaun Murphy v qualifier (Sunday April 22 2.30pm and Monday April 23 2.30pm)
Stephen Lee v qualifier (Monday April 23 7pm and Tuesday April 24 7pm)
Ali Carter v qualifier (Wednesday April 25 7pm and Thursday April 26 1pm)
Judd Trump v qualifier (Tuesday April 24 10am and Wednesday April 25 2.30pm)
Mark Williams v qualifier (Wednesday April 25 2.30pm and Thursday April 26 7pm)
Ronnie O'Sullivan v qualifier (Monday April 23 2.30pm and Tuesday April 24 2.30pm)
Martin Gould v qualifier (Saturday April 21 10am and Sunday April 22 10am)
Neil Robertson v qualifier (Saturday April 21 2.30pm and Sunday April 22 7pm)
Ding Junhui v qualifier (Tuesday April 24 10am and Wednesday April 25 10am)
Mark Allen v qualifier (Saturday April 21 7pm and Sunday April 22 2.30pm)
Matthew Stevens v qualifier (Monday April 23 10am and 7pm)
Mark Selby v qualifier (Tuesday April 24 7pm and Wednesday April 25 7pm)
The event runs from April 21 to May 7. The top 16 will be joined by the 16 players who come through the qualifying rounds, which run from April 5-15 at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield.
Defending champion; John Higgins
Just briefly skimming over the draw it is clear to see who has the more precarious route to the final, with the bottom half easily being the most dangerous section.
Three-times world champion and recent German Masters winner Ronnie O'Sullivan has possibly the hardest draw if he wants to reach the final. Due to being only seeded 15th for this event he potentially faces Mark Williams in the second round and defending Masters champion Neil Robertson in the quarters.
Many other strong opponents vacate the other spots in the bottom half including world no.1 Mark Selby, Welsh Open champion Ding Junhui and a player who always seems to play his best at the Crucible; Mark Allen. Whoever makes it through this half will most likely be favourite to win the final.
Not that there isn't quality in the top half though, with the likes of defending and four-times champion John Higgins, Shaun Murphy and snooker's new star Judd Trump all featuring. 2006 champion Graeme Dott also seems to save his best snooker for Sheffield so he could be one to look out for this year.
The 16 qualifiers who will join the top 16 at the Crucible also will be hoping for a good run here and maybe even win it (Terry Griffiths & Shaun Murphy have both won this event as qualifiers). The likes of Andrew Higginson, Tom Ford and Mark Davis have all performed well this season and could cause a few upsets against the bigger boys and of course lets not forget about the seven times world champion Stephen Hendry who performed well in Newport last week.
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There is still plenty of snooker to come this season before the big one though with the Haikou World Open taking place in China next week and then shortly after its the PTC Grand Finals & the China Open to follow.