Kyren Wilson is aiming to get his season back on the rails at the Shoot Out after suffering a morale-sapping 6-5 defeat to world No. 60 Jamie Clarke at the UK Championship last week.
The world No. 9 led Clarke 5-1 in the last 32 at the York Barbican, but he squandered several chances to finish off the match as his opponent reeled off five straight frames to complete a dramatic final-frame victory.
Wilson edged Daniel Wells 47-38 in the first round of the Shoot Out on Wednesday to book his spot in the last 64 of the ranking event in Swansea with the draw being made on Thursday evening.
Wilson is 44th on the one-year list and needs a strong showing this week and the Scottish Open in Edinburgh next week to boost his hopes of qualifying for the World Grand Prix next month (January 15-21 in Leicester) involving the top 32 on the season’s order of merit.
“It’s been a strange first half of the season for me. I feel as if my game is there to win tournaments,” said Wilson, whose best performance of the campaign was a 5-3 defeat to John Higgins in the European Masters quarter-finals in August.
“But that doesn’t mean you have the right to win any matches. I have lost some close games. I fancied the UK. I was flying, it was probably the best I have ever played in practice.
“I made two 147s in one day, playing at Ding’s academy in Sheffield the day before my first match. So it hurt to lose.
“I’m not missing easy balls, maybe my shot selection hasn’t quite been right. I’m sure it will turn around.
“I certainly want to be in the World Grand Prix, and there are a lot of other big events to look forward to.”
‘Clearance of the day!’ – Heathcote stages ‘superb’ comeback to win at Shoot Out
Stream the 2023 Snooker Shoot Out and more top snooker action live and on-demand on discovery+ and eurosport.co.uk