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First-Timers Kishan Hirani And Ashley Carty Earn Tour Cards

Carty earned a two-year tour card
Carty earned a two-year tour card

As the curtain came down on the final Q School event of the year, two places on the professional snooker circuit were handed to rookies.

Kishan Hirani and Ashley Carty were two of four players who earned a two-year tour card and the chance to chase their dream on the sport’s big stage.

In The Sportsman’s final article in a three-part series, we look at the final four jubilant players and assess their hopes in the coming seasons

Kishan Hirani

Kishan’s run to the main circuit is proof that success in these Q School events is not all about experience.

The 25-year old Welsh potter has been plugging away on the amateur scene for a number of years and has now seen all his hardwork come to fruition.

He secured his place with a 4-2 win against Simon Bedford in the final round and can now look forward to many more bigger matches ahead. This will be a completely new phenomenon for Hirani having not had much experience against professional players and you’d expect his first season to be one of adaptation before we see what he’s really capable of in year two.

Ashley Carty

Another new professional, the 22-year old Rotherham potter is also void of much experience but has shown his mettle by emerging through the pressure of Q School.

He was a bit of star of the 2015 Welsh Open when he beat both Michael Holt and Alfie Burden to reach the last 32 before losing to Marco Fu.

In Burton, he has picked up some impressive wins including against former professional Wang Yuchen. On paper, Carty looks like a strong break-builder and will certainly need to be clinical when on the big stage.

Thor Chuan Leong

The Malaysian cueman nicknamed One-Thor-Seven is more of a familiar face on the circuit having just fallen off of the circuit this season.

Thor can be an unpredictable player but clear has plenty of ability.

His best performance in a ranking event so far was at last year’s English Open where he defeated former world champion Graeme Dott and China’s Cao Yupeng before losing to Kyren Wilson. He will need to find greater consistency this time around to avoid another relegation in two years’ time.

Andy Lee

Lee joins Fu and becomes the second Hong Ku player currently on the professional tour.

His victory over Kuldesh Johal secures his return to the pro ranks for the first time since 2009.

In his only season on the circuit, he reached the last 64 of the Grand Prix Lewis with a win against Barry Pinches before losing to Jimmy Michie. In the China Open, he beat Matt Selt before losing to Gerard Greene.

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