I'm not entirely sure of the reason,it could be the fact we had a summer with the European Championships and the marvelous London Olympics or the fact that following his few monthes in exile that we have Ronnie back or it may even be just that we are now in September and we are conditioned that with the evenings drawing our thoughts turn to all things snooker,but it really seems that despite having already had two full ranking events as well as a couple of PTC events there is an excitement about this weekend that hasn't existed so far this season.
And so it is the snooker professionals roll into South West Snooker Academy for unfortunately it seems the penultimate for PTC 3 this weekend.Suppose the logical place to start is with the man who will probably get all the headlines,our returning World Champion Ronnie O Sullivan.Following a summer saga of will he wont he Ronnie has eventually signed his contract and his participation can only be a positive for the event as everyone will be eager to see if he can hit the ground running and reproduce the form that saw him sweep to his fourth world title in May.This is not something that can be ruled out despite his lack of competitive action.
Ronnie of course is not the only star on show and many others may see this weekend as the perfect chance to hone their form with a busy period of tournaments coming over next couple of monthes.Another of the games greats who made a belated return to action was John Higgins,After never really getting going last season you get the feeling this year might be a make or break year for Higgins.It certainly would be great for the game if he could find his form from a couple of seasons ago.If he did there is little doubt he would lift a few titles this year
Current World no.1 Mark Selby will come into this weekend feeling a lot better about himself following his victory in The Paul Hunter and he seems to have put his injury and form problem behind him.We can expect another bold showing this weekend from Selby who seems to relish match snooker as much as anyone.
Perhaps the most consistent player of 2012 so far has been Stephen Maguire who already has a win in PTC1 and a runner up in PTC 2 to his name.One gets the feeling he may be slightly more in favour of these events then he used to be!
Of course I can't mention everyone but I'm sure we'll see players like Judd Trump,Neil Robertson,Shaun Murphy and Mark Allen who will all be looking to kick start their seasons here as well as the likes of Ricky Walden,Barry Hawkins and Martin Gould who have already been in winners circle and wanting to build on their success's.
This sets us up nicely for a weekend in front of the PC and a fascinating weekend of snooker.