Three players who don't have protection from their European Order of Merit position are outside the Top 64 but not far outside, and have qualified for both of the World Open and China Open - Tián Péngfēi, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Mike Dunn. Each of them very much needs at least one win and will be hoping that those around and just above them (including each other!) will not win matches at these events or the PTC finals. There's enough extra money for an opening round win (£3500) that it would take them into the Top 64.
Their upcoming opponents are :
Tián Péngfēi - World v Graeme Dott; China v Gary Wilson
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh - World v Stephen Maguire; China v Ken Doherty
Mike Dunn - World v Mark Allen; China v Peter Lines
An extra nuance to this - were Tián Péngfēi and Mike Dunn to win their first matches at the China Open, they would play each other in the next round, with a further £1500 at stake.
Of the players who could be overtaken in this manner, two lack protection, or much protection, from their European Order of Merit position - Steve Davis (currently 63rd) and Jimmy White (currently 60th). Davis can be overtaken by 1 win by any of Tián Péngfēi, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Mike Dunn, White only by Tián Péngfēi. So Davis and White really need to be winning to defend their positions. Their upcoming opponents are:
Steve Davis - World v Stuart Bingham; China - not qualified
Jimmy White - World v Shaun Murphy; China v David Morris
All five will be hoping for a lack of wins by the other players around them who are either protected by their European Order of Merit position or are on the first year of a two year card - Luca Brecel, David Morris, Gerard Greene, Gary Wilson and Sam Baird, also Scott Donaldson is just ahead of Jimmy White.
Peter Lines (58th) and Dave Harold (57th) aren't that clear of trouble either, neither qualified for the World Open, both qualified for the China Open. As noted above, Lines plays Mike Dunn. Harold's opening match is against Stephen Maguire.
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