Youghal teenager Ross Bulman handed added incentive for World Snooker Championship qualifiers

The young snooker star is looking to attain pro status like his fellow Cork teenager Aaron Hill
Youghal teenager Ross Bulman handed added incentive for World Snooker Championship qualifiers
Youghal snooker ace Ross Bulman.

Ross Bulman was already relishing another crack at reaching the Crucible.

And the 19-year-old Irish amateur prospect from Youghal received another career boost on Monday night.

Should he win four qualifying rounds at the Betfred World Championship he will not only get to step out into the iconic arena – but also secure a professional tour card.

Bulman had been expecting to attend Q School this year – looking to attain pro status like Cork teenager Aaron Hill.

However, that clashes with the first week of the blue-riband event, leading to the offer from World Snooker.

Bulman, who faces the veteran Rod Lawler on Tuesday, said: “It would be unbelievable, unreal to win the four matches and actually get to the Crucible. It would just be the best dream come true. I had been expecting to miss Q School and my chance to get a tour card if somehow I made it. But that is a long way off yet.

“I had the new experience of the world qualifiers last year, that was all different and should help me this year.

“That was against Jimmy White and I lost in that first round, but I am feeling really good about it this year even with the extra round – having to win four matches and not three.

“And I am one of the lucky ones because I have been able to practice all through lockdown. I have my own place in an industrial unit about five minutes from my father’s business.

“I have practiced with Aaron Hill, and Fergal O’Brien last week, so I’ve had plenty of tough practice there. And I am travelling over with Aaron. I know I could face Fergal in the second round if I could just win one match against Rod.

“That would be a nice occasion for me, if maybe not for him – I know he is fighting hard to keep his place on tour and may have to win two or three matches.

“All I know about my first opponent Rod Lawler is that he is slow. I am quick, definitely quicker than him, although not the fastest like Ronnie O’Sullivan or Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

“You don’t want to get bogged down in any match, and against slower players my tactics are always just to try and get in first in the frame.

“Get a score on the board and try not to get too tangled up in safety exchanges.

“There are lot of extra rules to get your head around this year with the coronavirus. If you are under 18 you are allowed to have a guardian with you, but otherwise no friend or family member are allowed.

“So that’s very different, unfortunately. We’ll be alone – but it will be okay, it is just something to get used to.

“I am not in the easiest section of the draw, but also not the worst either. I’ll just take it step by step, frame by frame.

“It’s like the FA Cup in the qualifiers. So it’s not always about who is the best break-builder, it can be about nerve and match-play. We don’t know how players will react to the unique restrictions and set-up, but I think I’ll be okay.” 

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