Mark Williams will chase his second title in three weeks after completing the final line-up at the £205,000 Championship League by winning Group 7 on Wednesday.
The three-times world champion – who lifted his 23rd ranking title at the WST Pro Series last month – takes his place in the winners’ group after progressing in his trademark nonchalant style in Milton Keynes.
He joins Zhou Yuelong, Graeme Dott, John Higgins, Judd Trump, Kyren Wilson and Ali Carter in competing for the title over Thursday and Friday.
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Williams finished second behind Masters champion Yan Bingtao with four wins and two defeats before making breaks of 67, 72 and 84 in a 3-1 win over David Gilbert and a 3-1 final victory over Joe Perry that concluded with knocks of 75 and 71 after Perry opened with 114.
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Perry had reached the final with a 3-0 success against Yan, boosted by contributions of 72 and 50.
“I played well both days, I have been playing okay for a while now,” said Williams, who is hitting form ahead of his bid for a fourth world title in Sheffield next month with the Crucible event running between 17 April-3 May (live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app).
“These groups are difficult; it always goes down to the last game pretty much and the Winners’ Group will be no different; they’ve all won a group to get here.
You have to keep trying to make as many breaks as you can because you can beat someone 3-0, qualify for the semis and then they beat you 3-0! It’s just about getting through whether that’s first, second, third or fourth.
Williams opens the action against Higgins at 12:30pm (BST) on Thursday with world number one Trump facing Zhou.
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