Fergal O'Brien will extend his 31-year stay on the elite snooker circuit for another two years after securing a fresh tour card with a 4-1 win over fellow evergreen campaigner Rory McLeod in Sheffield.
The duo share 101 years and 58 seasons between them on the professional tour, but it was former Masters finalist O'Brien who emerged victorious as he lost the first frame of a nervy encounter to a run of 59 before reeling off four straight frames, including a 54 in the third frame.
Ireland's O'Brien lifted the British Open in 1999 and was ranked as high as ninth in the world in 2000/01, but has been on a steady decline over the past decade culminating in his slide outside of the top 64 last season in dropping to world No. 79.
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O'Brien turned professional in 1991, but his impressive success at Q School safeguards his future until 2024.
Fellow 50-year-old Rod Lawler – the former world No. 20 who began his professional journey in 1990 – will also return to the main circuit after a one-year absence courtesy of a 4-3 victory against Brandon Sargeant.
Elsewhere, Bai Langning overcame Sunny Akani 4-3 with Andy Lee running out a 4-2 winner against Luke Simmonds.
The winners of the four quarter-finals each receive a two-year card for the next two seasons.
12 tour cards are available in Sheffield with players having to win at least five matches at Ponds Forge. Three events are staged between 16th May until 2nd June with four semi-finalists from each tournament earning a tour card.
Event two of Q School out of three begins on Sunday.
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Q School event one results
- Rod Lawler 4-3 Brandon Sargeant
- Rory McLeod 1-4 Fergal O’Brien
- Luke Simmonds 2-4 Andy Lee
- Sunny Akani 3-4 Bai Langning
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An Asia-Oceania Q School will also take place in Bangkok for the first time starting on 1st June with another four tour cards on the line.
Two events are to be hosted in Thailand's capital city with the finalists from both earning a two-year card to the elite circuit.
19-year-old Julien Leclercq of Belgium clinched a two-year tour card last week with victory at the Q Tour play-offs.
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