The official WLBS world women’s rankings have been updated following victory for Reanne Evans at the British Open last weekend in Stourbridge, England.
The WLBS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2015/16 to be removed during the course of this season. At this update, points earned at the 2016 Connie Gough Trophy and Eden Classic events have been removed from player’s totals and replaced with those earned last weekend at the British Open.
Despite a semi-final defeat for Ng On Yee against Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai at the British Open last weekend, her last-four run was enough to see her make history and overhaul Reanne Evans at the top of the rankings for the first time in her career.
Having come into the tournament 1,550 points behind Evans, the Hong Kong ace needed to win just one match in Stourbridge to guarantee that she would replace the 11-time world champion at the top of the rankings, regardless of what happened thereafter. This was because Evans was defending maximum points from two events held during the corresponding period two years ago, a significantly higher amount than her main tour rival.
The result is that On Yee becomes the first Asian woman to hold the top ranking and now holds a lead of 2,250 to Evans heading into next month’s World Women’s Snooker Championship in Malta. With Evans also set to defend maximum points there from having won her most recent world title in 2016, On Yee will be hoping to maintain her advantage as we move towards the end of the season.
Away from the top two, there was also a significant movement just behind them as Rebecca Kenna leapfrogged former number one Maria Catalano to reach a new career-high ranking of number three.
Although it was Catalano who came into the event ahead in the points race, the loss of 4,000 ranking points from her run to the final of the Connie Gough Trophy in 2016 (at which Kenna did not play), combined with Kenna progressing two rounds further than Catalano in Stourbridge, means that it is the Keighley player who has now edged ahead for the first time.
There is no change to the remainder of the top eight as those ranked 5-8 hold station, but tour veteran Jenny Poulter climbs two places to ninth following her first quarter-final run of the season.
Outside of the top 10, the biggest mover was of course 18-year-old Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who climbs 28 places to 32nd following her run to the final in Stourbridge.
Other risers include the likes of Aimee Benn, Shannon Metcalf and Stephanie Daughtery (all up two), as well as Challenge Cup/Under-21s champion Emma Parker and Chu Pui Ying (both up five) following the weekend’s action.
Further down the order, rookie player Jackie Ellis rises 30 places to 52nd having reached the last 16, while Sharon Lewis climbs 15 places to 37th following her first competition of the season.
On the Under-21 ranking list Leeds youngster Shannon Metcalf remains in top spot some 6,800 points ahead of Stephanie Daughtery.
With the top two currently seeded apart in Under-21 draws, the battle for second place will be one to keep an eye on over the coming weeks following 18-year-old Emma Parker’s latest victory in Stourbridge, where she edged out Daughtery 3-2 in the final to claim her third Under-21 title during the past 12 months. As a result, Parker now stands just 1,000 points behind Daughtery in the rankings race.
Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai was a new entry as she played in her first WLBS juniors event.
Next up will be the WLBS World Women’s Snooker Championship 2018, which for the first time will be held as part of the new World Snooker Federation Championships in Malta from 14-17 March.