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Ng On-yee

Hong Kong’s Ng On-yee to compete on snooker’s new Challenge Tour with eye on mainstream pro circuit

The world number one and main rival Reanne Evans are among 64 players in the 10-event, £100,000 European series for emerging and amateur players

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 May, 2018, 11:52pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 May, 2018, 11:14pm

World champion Ng On-yee’s hopes of making it on the mainstream tour have been given a major boost after she was invited to compete in snooker’s new Challenge Tour for emerging players.

Hong Kong’s world number one Ng will be joined by main rival, England’s Reanne Evans, on the 64-player tour, which features 10 events and total prize money of £100,000 (HK$1.04 million).

The top two players at the end of the season will earn a place on the main tour for the 2019/20 season.

“I am delighted to see the gap between amateur and professional snooker getting smaller with the introduction of the World Snooker Challenge Tour in Europe,” said Jason Ferguson, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.

“We have seen many young talented players coming through in China through competing on the CBSA Tour which provides excellent playing opportunities for leading players in the region. There is a strong appetite from elite performing amateur players across Europe to have similar opportunities as they look to develop a full-time career in our sport.

“This new Challenge Tour will not only provide the opportunity to compete at a high-level in match conditions, it will also be a place where as a world governing body we can educate the next generation of players and officials to safeguard our sport’s future.”

Ng, the two-time reigning world champion, on Tuesday won her first match in Q School, beating China’s Ning Kan 4-2 after fighting back from 2-0 down. However, she was beaten 4-1 by flamboyant Thai former pro Dechawat Poomjaeng in the next round on Wednesday.

The Hong Kong player is nominated for the tour based on her world title victory in Malta this year while 11-time world champion Evans qualifies because of her number two ranking.

Ng’s new duties means a packed schedule for her over the next year with the World Women’s Tour season set to start in September.