Aaron Hill will return to the main snooker circuit next season after claiming a new two-year tour card courtesy of a 4-1 win over Zhao Jianbo at Q School in Sheffield.
The 20-year-old Irish professional opened with a break of 110 against 18-year-old Zhao before winning the final three frames to secure one of the four cards available from the final day of event two at Ponds Forge.
The Cork player enjoyed a famous 5-4 win over world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the last 64 of the 2020 European Masters on his first season on tour, but has struggled for momentum.
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His best return last season was reaching the third round of the Gibraltar Open and Shoot Out as he slumped to 93 in the rankings, but will hope his performance at Q School can point to better times ahead.
Sanderson Lam will also return to the main tour after following up his shock 4-3 win over 2020 world quarter-finalist Kurt Maflin from 3-1 down in round five of event two with a 4-3 victory over Steven Hallworth.
'The Panda' built up a 3-1 lead, but breaks of 92 and 77 saw Hallworth force a decider which Lam won with a classy run of 60.
The Leeds player lost his tour card in 2019 after a four-year spell on the circuit, but has been competing as an amateur in recent seasons.
Basildon's Zak Surety also secured his elite status with a 4-2 win over Belgian teenager Ben Mertens with Adam Duffy edging out former Scottish Open semi-finalist Daniel Wells 4-3 to claim the fourth and final card from event two.
Sheffield potter Duffy ends a four-year absence from the professional ranks with his triumph on home soil.
Fergal O'Brien, Rod Lawler, Andy Lee and Bai Langning claimed the first four tour cards last week from a total of 12 available at Ponds Forge.
Event three begins on Saturday with Q School concluding on Thursday with players such as Maflin and Michael Holt having one last shot at regaining their professional status for next term.

Q School event two results

  • Daniel Wells 3-4 Adam Duffy
  • Zak Surety 4-2 Ben Mertens
  • Zhao Jianbo 1-4 Aaron Hill
  • Steven Hallworth 3-4 Sanderson Lam
An Asia-Oceania Q School will also take place in Bangkok for the first time starting on 1 June with another four tour cards on the line.
Two events are to be hosted in Thailand's capital city with the finalists from both earning a two-year card to the elite circuit.
19-year-old Julien Leclercq of Belgium clinched a two-year tour card with victory at the Q Tour play-offs.

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