Let’s look at the facts.
The only players to ‘qualify’ for the German Masters, the latest event on the World Snooker Tour were the 5 amateurs.
They qualified by way of the Q School Order of Merit as top ups.
The other 125 players, main tour card holders, were all there by right having entered the event.
Most of Round 1 was played at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. Some matches, those involving the top 8 seeds, were held over to the main venue, The Tempodrom in Berlin.
Ronnie O’Sullivan was seeded 3 but withdrew after the draw and was replaced by Barry Pinches (as an amateur top up) for the match with Julien Leclercq, which was of course held over.
Of the held over matches involving the top seeds, Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby and Luca Brecel all lost.
Would it then be fair to say they didn’t qualify? Of course not.
All those who won in Sheffield and those that won the held over matches, then played matches as billed by WST as Round 2.
It does sound a little confusing and many seem to think, and say, that players qualified to play in the German Masters.
So why call the first round matches ‘qualifiers’?
The only reason, as far as I can see, for the first round matches to be played in Sheffield, is to save the UK based players from having to travel to Berlin. No such respect has been given to any of the players who are NOT based in the UK who have to travel to play in round 1 in the hope of reaching Round 2 a few weeks later in Berlin. Luckily for Lukas Kleckers, the only German on the main tour, his match was held over to Berlin.
Another reason for holding these ‘qualifiers’ could be to pad out the calendar which would have been done when there was uncertainty over whether there would be any events this season in China.
Would it really be so difficult to hold Round 1 immediately before the Tempodrom stage but maybe at another location in Berlin – similar to Ponds Forge?
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