Andrew Higginson believes the Barry Hearn era will herald an improvement in the standard of snooker being produced on the circuit.
Higginson beat Liang Wenbo, the world no.16, 3-1 to qualify for the final stages of the World Open in Sheffield today.
And with the new Players Tour Championship giving players additional chances to compete, Higginson reckons fans will be treated to better snooker than ever.
“I think you’ll see the standard of snooker rise this season because there’s competition snooker week in, week out,” he said.
“I haven’t stopped practising and playing this season, whereas last year there were times when you’d put your cue down for two weeks at a time.
“I think Barry Hearn has made a fantastic start. It’s a great time to be a snooker player.”
Of course, the standards are already high but Andrew is probably right that more players will produce a better quality of snooker this season.
Why? Because they are playing all the time in meaningful matches and it is therefore easier to keep sharp.
I certainly think we will see a number of players fire up the chart of century makers.
With seven ranking events, 12 PTCs plus the Masters, the Premier League and the Championship League this campaign it is likely Stephen Hendry’s single season record of 53 centuries will go.
As for Higginson, he has got himself into the top 32 for the first time this season but with the new ranking system, where the list is revised three times during the year, is guarding against complacency.
“I finally got into the top 32 but I don’t want to just be there for five months,” he said. “But I’ve qualified for Shanghai and now the World Open, so I can’t ask for a better start than that.”
Winning breeds confidence. The other side of that coin is that if a player gets on a bad run their confidence is seriously eroded.
Michael Holt has lost all five of his matches so far this season but at least there is still plenty of time to turn things round. A couple of wins at the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany this week would certainly help.