The Landywood British Open will begin this Friday (12 May) as the curtain falls on a memorable season at the Landywood Snooker Club, England.
To run from 12-14 May, the 27th staging of the prestigious event has attracted an incredible field which includes 16 of the world’s top 17 ranked players, as well as China’s Bai Yulu who reached the final of the World Championship on debut back in March.
The tournament will be played at a new venue, with the Landywood Snooker Club hosting its first tour event since 2005 and having undergone significant refurbishment under new ownership in recent years.
There will be three former British Open champions among what is a bumper field with 51 entries received, with record six-time winner Reanne Evans joined by one-time winners Mink Nutcharut and Maria Catalano.
The main competition will see the top four seeds Mink Nutcharut, Baipat Siripaporn, Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee – seeded through to the last 16 stage, with the remaining players separated into 12 groups of four. The top two players from each group will progress to the knockout stage to begin on Saturday evening.
As well as the event itself, there is also a crucial subplot to follow with the highest ranked player of Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee following the conclusion of the tournament, set to regain their place on the World Snooker Tour for the following two seasons. Read more about that here.
The first group will be led by Australian Open champion Ploychompoo Laokiatphong, who is set to make her first appearance in the British Open.
Up to a career-high world ranking of number seven following her most successful season on the Tour to date, the 20-year-old Thai player will begin in a group that features fellow junior Sophie Nix, alongside the experienced English duo Maureen Rowland and Louise Leskevicius.
England’s Steph Daughtery reached her fourth ranking event quarter-final at the British Open a year ago and will be targeting another strong performance as she looks to finish the season ranked inside of the world’s top 10.
She is joined in Group B by 19-year-old Bai Yulu, who is set to compete in her first tournament in the UK following her run to the final of the World Championship in Thailand just over two months ago. One of four players from China set to compete in the event, Bai also notably compiled a break of 142 during the recent Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association qualifiers in Beijing.
The group is completed by Deb Mejor – one of five debutants in the draw – with Nat Howard having withdrawn from the tournament.
England’s Zoe Killington has enjoyed a consistent season to break into the world’s top 16 for the first time and is now set to head up an intriguing group which features three players aged 17 and under.
Among them will be her sister Laura, who herself has risen into the world’s top 32, as well as Daisy May Oliver, who will make her second appearance on the Tour, following her debut at the UK Championship last July.
Also present in the group will be Marianne Williams, who will play in her third tournament of the season having also contested the UK Championship and Eden Masters events.
One season on from her landmark return to competition at last season’s British Open following a 23-year break, England’s Tessa Davidson heads into this year’s tournament as a group seed.
The Seniors number one is one of four players separated by just 875 points in the race to finish the season ranked inside of the world’s top 10 and will be hoping for another strong performance in Landywood.
She will begin her campaign in a group stage that includes former Seniors number one Jan Hughes, Scotland’s Deborah Fladgate and debutant Debra Shaw, one of two Welsh players in the draw.
Welsh number one Laura Evans is set to make her first appearance of the calendar year at the British Open and having fallen outside of the world’s top 10, will be hoping to regain ground on those above her with a strong performance.
She will face English duo Sarah Dunn and Connie Stephens – who made her first Tour appearance this tournament in 2018 – in her round robin group, as well as 22-year-old debutant Clementine Jingxian Yang from China.
England’s Mary Talbot-Deegan made her British Open debut back in 1995 and will return to the competition 28 years later, looking to consolidate her position inside of the world’s top 10 ranked players.
Awaiting her in the opening stage will be six-time Guernsey champion Kate Le Gallez, England’s Lesley Roberts and Keerath Bhandaal of India, who will make her second Tour appearance having previously entered the Scottish Open last October.
Germany’s Diana Schuler heads up Group G and will be targeting a place in the knockout rounds of the British Open for the first time, having only previously appeared in the competition back in 2018.
One of four players in with a realistic chance of finishing the season in final place inside of the world’s top 10, she will begin her campaign against England’s Clare Gamble, Zeinab Shahi of Iran and Tour debutant Pam Mejor.
Main tour professional Rebecca Kenna is a two-time former semi-finalist at the British Women’s Open and will be hoping to make it third time lucky on her first visit to the Landywood Snooker Club.
With the newly-crowned world champion Baipat Siripaporn seeded second for the tournament, Kenna will begin in the group stages against Leah Humphrey – who made her debut at the event in 2022 – and 11-year old talent Ellise Scott, plus debutant Yiran Zhao of China.
One of three former British Open champions among the field (2007), England’s Maria Catalano heads to Landywood following her best performance of the season in Thailand as she reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship.
Looking to secure a return to the world’s top 10, Catalano will begin her quest against compatriots Chloe Payne and Cheryl Calverley, as well as Louise Foster of Scotland.
World number five Jamie Hunter has enjoyed an impressive second season on the circuit and will be targeting a third ranking title following victories in the US Open and Australian Open competitions.
She will begin her tournament in an intriguing group which is set to feature Mongolia’s Bayarsaikhan Narantuya – conqueror of three-time world champion Ng On Yee at the World Championship – who will be making her UK debut in a WWS Tour event.
The group is completed by England’s Emma Powers-Richarson and Anna Lynch of Australia.
World number six Emma Parker returns to a tournament at which she has enjoyed past success with Under-21 and Challenge Cup victories in 2018, followed by a quarter-final run of the main in 2022.
She will begin Group K in 2023 against Hong Kong’s Ho Yee Ki, who herself has enjoyed a strong season which saw her reach the semi-finals of a ranking event for the first time at the Asia-Pacific Championship in February.
Also in the group will be Annamaria Wilkins of Hungary and Mhairi Mackay of Scotland, each hoping to continue to progress up the world ranking list.
The final group sees England’s Jasmine Bolsover installed as a seeded player for the first time following her return to full-time competition during the past 18 months.
Also among what is a truly international group are Jeongmin Park of South Korea and Lynn Shi of China, alongside Thailand’s Phimchanok Phoemphul, who having appeared at the World Championship on home soil in 2019 and 2023, will compete in the UK for the first time.
Alongside the main competition, there will also be side-tournaments staged across the weekend for the Under-21 and Seniors players.
In the junior category there will be a final chance for number one player Ploychompoo Laokiatphong to add to her trophy cabinet prior to her 21st birthday in just under two week’s time, but she is set to face tough competition from an early stage with the unseeded Bai Yulu a potential quarter-final opponent.
There is also set to be a strongly contested Seniors competition held with a record 18 entries received, including four players currently ranked within the top 13 of the full ranking list. Both Laokiatphong and Davidson respectively are guaranteed to finish top of the respective ranking lists, regardless of the results this weekend.
The action gets underway on Friday from approximately 7:00pm BST, with the latest match results and standings available via WPBSA SnookerScores.