Davey Morris grew up at house number 147, an omen for later life.

Ken Doherty told me several years ago that he was a great prospect but last year Morris dropped off the professional circuit and looked as if he had gone the way of many other promising juniors whose potential was never realised.

It would have left Republic of Ireland representation on the main tour resting on just Doherty and Fergal O’Brien, both of whom are past 40.

However, Morris battled back through the Q School last month and today appears in the last 16 of a world ranking event for the first time.

The new flat system has obviously been a help. No more trudging through round after round of qualifying and no guarantee of having to play a top 16 player in the last 32.

But the reprieved man syndrome may also come into play for Morris, just as it did last season for Rod Lawler. The sudden feeling of having it all taken away from you can focus the mind.

Morris today plays Ali Carter, one of only five top 16 players to reach the last 16, although only 11 made the trip to Wuxi in the first place.

The new system has meant new faces have come to the fore. Scott Donaldson is another making a maiden bow in a last 16.

New faces create new stories but interest can also depend on the familiar. As I’ve said before, the test of the new format this season will be whether it adversely affects TV viewing figures and, to a lesser extent, ticket sales.

Ding Junhui is out but he was outplayed by an inspired Joe Perry who proved yesterday what confidence can do. Last week he won the Asian Tour event in Yixing. Yesterday he showed no signs of nervousness or hesitation. It was a terrific performance.

John Higgins beat Neil Robertson in the European Tour final in Bulgaria and these two titans are in opposite halves of the draw again. As we approach the business end of the tournament, experience will be a key factor.

This is why, for all the newer names figuring in the last 16, one of the big hitters must still be fancied to lift the trophy on Sunday.


Anonymous said...

He did well to beat Holty in the qualifiers, but wins over Gary Wilson (who he previously beat at Q School) and Gerard Greene hardly constitute a breakthrough. Also you've now surely jinxed him to lose today!

Anonymous said...

Re 8.33

For crying out loud, do some people just live to argue with everything?

The guy has never even been in a last 32 in seven years as a professional, now he's in a last 16.

On what planet does that not constitute a breakthrough?

JIMO96 said...

Anon 8:33......yeah but he grabbed his chance, and that's the point. 8 grand worth of ranking points to kick off his pro career is not a bad start! That's the beauty of this system, new names will emerge sooner and climb the rankings faster than before. Under the old system, players like Morris, Haotian and Hang would have been picked off in the labyrithe qualifying by the likes of Harold, Joyce, O'Brien etc. Who then would hasve meekly surrendered to the likes of Holt, Higginson....you get the picture.

Players are having to get used to playing 'new' opponents rather than the same batch of players from the seeding bracket immediately beneath them, and this is bringing about some unlikely results....I think it's fresh and exciting and the Aussie and Shanghai qualifiers are stale in comparison.

Good luck today Davey.

Anonymous said...

Hallett really does go overboard.
1,000,000/1 against he gave Lines to clear from the green in frame 4, which he duly did without much fuss.
MH Bookmakers - not a business I would invest in.

Anonymous said...

How wrong you were. 5-4 win!!!

Anonymous said...

So how is flat draw for you so far?

Some stats for this week:
Start of L64 - 12 Top 16 players
Start of L32 - 7 Top 16 players
Start of L16 - 5 Top 16 players
Start of QF - 3 Top 16 players

Presumably in the Wuxi last year, there was 16 "Top 16" players at the start of the L32, i.e. the top 16 who entered.

So very crudely we have half the number of top players at the start of L32 now we are flat.

This assumes of course that the Top 16 are the best players in the world - currently that doesn't include the reigning World Champion.

One rain shower doesn't make a rainy season but I haven't seen a good match yet all week in this format.

Anonymous said...

Whoever commented on this have just been proven wrong and all of us in Ireland believed in Davy and he has now made a breakthrough and no one can say that hes not good enough anymore

Anonymous said...

he didnt fkin loose muppet!

Anonymous said...

The top 16 aren't anywhere near as good as the media and this blog hype them up to be . The old system was in place when we had a manager of 10 of the world's top 16 players on the board of world snooker .
Go figure !

Anonymous said...

If you think the new players on tour are far better than Harold , Joyce , O'Brien etc then you known very little about the game IMO. Everyone on the tour except maybe a handful of players are capable of beating the top players in the world .

Anonymous said...

Under the old system the last 32 of every tournament comprised at least 25 of the top 32 players in the world. The lions share of the prize money is paid out in those later rounds. The lower ranked players will now earn more than ever before due to the new draw structure, on merit only .
This could have never happened with the conflict of interests the game had before Barry Hearn took over !

Anonymous said...

i watched Davey morris win the lucan classic in dublin about five yrs ago beating fergal in the final and he played class he has the talent and the game to go all the way and become irelands top player and a top 8 player..sure stuart bingham got a 147 that tournament and look at his career..shows what a few wins and confidence can do..

JIMO96 said...

6:28 not sure what your point is at all, but I think it's aimed at me, since you quote the same players I do. We'd never know if the new pros are better than the 3 quoted players under the old system, because they'd get swallowed up by the wave of seeded players and their varying levels of protection, all playing each shot as if it were a pint of blood....because that's what the drip-drip ranking system in a tiered event encouraged....win your first match to avoid getting half points.

Under that system, a player ranked 95th could beat a player ranked 89th and earn 650 points; then he could beat a top 64 player and only earn an extra 250; then beat a player ranked 40th and get....another 250 points.

In the new system, the points are more reflective of the value of winning a match in the particular round they apply to, so players climb quicker if winning (and drop quicker if not). It's MUCH fairer, and throws up many fresh pairings in every round.

Do I think Lu Haotian, Davey Morris and Li Hang are better than Dave Harold, Mark Joyce and Fergal O'Brien? Perhaps I do, and they have a much better chance to prove it now that the draws are fairer, than toiling under the old system.