News that the Players Tour Championship grand finals will be switched from Thailand to an as yet undisclosed location in Europe was met with concern by several players now eyeing a tough schedule in March.
They will be off to Haikou for the World Open (March 10-16), which can involve as many as three flights depending on the route and will have to come back to Europe for the PTC finals (March 25-29) before flying back out to Beijing for the China Open (March 31-April 6).
Players who qualify for Beijing can’t yet book flights because they don’t know what country they will be flying from. Worse still, at least one player qualified for Thailand has already booked a flight to Bangkok.
One top player suggested the upheaval could cost players come the Crucible, where mental energy is an absolute must.
Knowing he could finish only fifth at best in group 5 of the Championship League – and would therefore not be involved in the semi-finals on Tuesday evening – John Higgins attempted to make a getaway only to discover Neil Robertson’s car was blocking his own. Robertson was playing Mark Selby at the time.
Undeterred, the Scot found Robertson’s keys and moved the world no.1’s car to a different car park, thus leaving Robertson fearing it had been stolen until the penny dropped.
Robertson, who turned 32 on the day in question, tweeted: “I was about to call the police!!! It was bad enough he beat me 3-2 on my bday!”