The EuroPro Tour 2017 season begins this week. The season is made up 15 regular events – 12 of which will be played in England with Scotland, Wales and Ireland all hosting one each – followed by the Tour Championship (venue to be confirmed) where they have the chance to win £50,000.

NCG’s Mark Townsend takes a look at four players to look out for this year…

Billy Hemstock, Exeter

Billy Hemstock, EuroPro Tour

Perennial EuroPro nearly man Hemstock suffered agony again at the end of last season.

Having twice previously finished seventh on the Order of Merit, in 2016 he finished sixth and missed out on the top five by a shade over £600.

The four-time EuroPro winner will be desperate to finally move up to the Challenge Tour this year.

Greg Payne, Surrey

Greg Payne, Europro Tour

Payne finished second on no fewer than three occasions last season but slipped out of the top five after a disappointing end to the year.

The left-hander will doubtless be looking to land a first EuroPro Tour win this year and finally earn promotion to the promised land of the Challenge Tour.

He certainly has the game to make it.

Joe Dean, Sheffield

Joe Dean, Europro Tour

The English Amateur champion in 2015, Yorkshireman Dean finished 10th on the EuroPro rankings in what was his rookie season last year.

That was a solid effort but with a year’s experience now under his belt, the Hillsborough representative will be confident of finishing even higher up the Order of Merit this time around.

Jonathan Thomson, Rotherham

Jonathan Thompson, EuroPro Tour

Thomson only turned professional last August but still managed to finish 14th on the standings.

Four weeks after leaving the amateur ranks behind he won the Glenfarclas Open at Mar Hall and came fourth in his next tournament at Moor Allerton.

If he can repeat that success over a full season, Thomson can expect to progress this year.