Tough qualifying path for Havant teen Jamie Wilson as he bids to reach snooker’s Holy Grail

Teenager Jamie Wilson takes his first step in trying to secure a spot at snooker's iconic Crucible Theatre through the World Championships qualifying stage on Monday.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:42 pm
Jamie Wilson. Picture: Matt Huart (WPBSA).
Jamie Wilson. Picture: Matt Huart (WPBSA).

The Havant hotshot, 17, comes up against vastly experienced Barry Pinches in the opening round over a best of 11 frame format at Sheffield's English Institute of Sport.

Wilson, still in his first season on the main tour, is bidding to make it to the World Championships in what will be his opening attempt.

In order to do so, he'll have to first overcome Pinches - a player 33 years his senior - and then make it through a further three qualifying rounds just to get to play on the biggest stage in the sport at the Crucible Theatre.

If Wilson wins, he will face face Welshman Jak Jones in the second qualifying round and, if successful there, will meet Kurt Maflin in the third round. Maflin is currently ranked No 25 in the world and last year reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship, losing to Anthony McGill.

If Wilson does make it through three rounds, he will then have to negotiate a best of 19 frames fourth qualifying round tie in order to reach the Crucible.

Reaching the World Championships would be the dream way to complete Wilson's first season as a professional.

The teenager, who won a place on the main tour through Q School last year, knows whatever happens in qualifying he has at least one more season at snooker's top table after winning a two-year card.

However, the chance to extend his opening campaign among the sport's top names and the opportunity to feature at the Crucible is sure to give Wilson huge motivation as he embarks on what is a tough qualifying road.

The highlight of the first qualifying round is a meeting between Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White, two of the best-known players in modern times.

Hendry, who has just returned to the sport, has won seven World titles while White - who has lost in six finals - is widely regarded as the greatest player never to wear the World crown.