A PRAGMATIC Paul Davison is hoping he can experience deja vu in the qualifying stages of snooker's Australian Goldfields Open.
The Pickering potter qualified for the venue stages of the event 12 months ago, narrowly losing in Bendigo to top 16 player Mark Davis, and he begins his four match programme today at the Capital Venue in Gloucester against Leeds starlet Oliver Lines.
The event has assumed huge importance for the 42-year-old, who dropped off the main World Snooker tour at the end of last season and was unable to reclaim his place at Q-School.
Early exits in the two end-of-season competitions have left him unlikely to feature in many of the year's top ranking events and he says he is determined to make the most of this opportunity.
The Australian Open structure does not follow the 128-flat draw favoured by World Snooker for most of its ranking competitions, meaning Davison will need to beat the likes of Jack Lisowski and David Gilbert and come through a quartet of tough qualifiers if he is to require a plane ticket to Victoria.
"It's a great place to go and I will try and give it my best shot," he said. "Oliver Lines is improving and if he keeps doing that in the next couple of seasons then he is going to be a very good player.
"I am looking forward to it and I am going to try and enjoy it a bit more. There are no ranking points at stake for me and it is not going to be the easiest of seasons but I have to get on with it.
"I have had the experience of getting through in the Australian last year. That gives me massive confidence knowing you can produce the goods in that sort of environment.
"This is probably the only ranking event I am going to get in this season but, if you haven't got the results over the course of two seasons, then you have only got yourself to blame."
Ranked 40th among those who took part at Q-School, Davison will be restricted largely to European Tour and Asian Tour events and, for a player who has been a feature of the professional game for more than two decades, he admits the setback has been a shock.
Davison added: "I didn't play that badly at Q-School. I lost a lot of close frames. It's massively disappointing but it is what it is.
"I think I have to start in amateur qualifying rounds (in the European Tour events). That isn't ideal. You referee your own games and you have to win three or four matches just to get through to round one.
"It's a huge test for anyone but you have to like it and lump it. My aim is to get back on the main tour. It's given me a bit more hunger. I want to get back to Australia. It's been a bit of a shock but it has made me practice a bit more."