World Open (snooker)

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World Grand Prix
2014 World Open (snooker) logo.png
Tournament information
Venue Venue Cymru
Location Llandudno
Country Wales
Established 1982
Organisation(s) World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
Format Ranking event
Final Year 2015
Final champion(s) England Judd Trump

The World Grand Prix was a professional ranking snooker tournament. It had previously been known as the Professional Players Tournament, the LG Cup, the Grand Prix, the World Open and the Haikou World Open. During 2006 and 2007, it was played in a unique round-robin format, more similar to association football and rugby tournaments than the knock-out systems usually played in snooker. The knock-out format returned in 2008 with an FA Cup-style draw. The random draw was abandoned after the 2010 edition. The last champion was Judd Trump.

History[edit]

The tournament was created in 1982 as the Professional Players Tournament by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, in order to provide another ranking event. Ray Reardon beat Jimmy White by 10 frames to 5 in the final to win the first prize of £5,000.

In 1984 Rothmans started sponsoring the tournament, changing its name to the Grand Prix, and moved its venue to the Hexagon Theatre in Reading. The tournament has had various sponsors and venues since. Previous sponsors include LG Electronics, who took over in 2001 and changed the tournament's name to the LG Cup. After LG withdrew their sponsorship, the Grand Prix name was revived for 2004 and was sponsored by totesport. Between 2006 and 2008 the event was sponsored by Royal London Watches.

The tournament was played at the Guild hall in 1998, at the start of the snooker season, until 2005 (moving once to Telford in 2000). Prize money for 2005 totalled £400,000, with the winner receiving £60,000.

In its original form, the tournament had a flatter structure than most tournaments, with the top 32 players all coming in at the last 64 stage (in other tournaments there are only 16 players left when the players ranked 17–32 come in, and then the 16 winners of those matches face the top 16).

These facts made it more common to see surprise results than in most other tournaments, with players such as Dominic Dale, Marco Fu, Euan Henderson and Dave Harold all surprise finalists at the time. A player from outside the top 16 has reached the final roughly half the times the contest has been played. Few of those have become consistent stars, although Stephen Hendry and John Higgins took their first ranking titles in the event. In addition, over the years, many top 16 players were eliminated in the early stages of the contest. Taking the 1996 event as an extreme case, thirteen of the top sixteen seeds failed to reach the quarter final stages, and the semi-finals featured one match between two top 16 players (Mark Williams and John Parrott) and another between two unseeded players (Euan Henderson and Mark Bennett); with Bennett and Henderson respectively winning the first two quarter final matches, a surprise finalist was guaranteed before the quarter finals had been completed.

The event moved to Scotland at the A.E.C.C. in Aberdeen for 2006, and introduced a brand new format. Players were split into groups (8 groups of 8 in qualifying, 8 groups of 6 in the final stages) and played every other player in their group once. The top 2 players progressed; the last 16 and onwards were played as a straight knock-out.

This resulted in several surprise results. Little-known players such as Ben Woollaston, Jamie Jones and Issara Kachaiwong made it through qualifying, while stars such as Graeme Dott, Stephen Hendry and Shaun Murphy failed to clear their groups.

The format was slightly tweaked for 2007, after complaints (notably from Dennis Taylor) that the system was too random. Matches increased in length from best-of-5 to best-of-7, to give the better player more chance to win. The main tie-breaker for players level on wins was changed, with frame difference now taking precedence over results between the players who are level on points. Notably, under the 2007 format, 2006 runner-up Jamie Cope would have been eliminated in the groups, as he defeated third-placed Michael Holt but had an inferior frame-difference.

The 2007 event saw fewer surprises, although 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott, 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty, defending champion Neil Robertson, seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry, six-time World Champion Steve Davis, twice World Champion Mark Williams and 2007 World Championship finalist Mark Selby were all eliminated in the groups. The format was not continued for 2008, due to dwindling ticket sales in the early rounds.

For 2008, the event moved to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow. It went back to a knock-out format with no round-robin. The last 16 and beyond however was played using a FA Cup-style draw, rather than automatically pitching higher ranked players (or their conquerors) against lower-ranked players. In 2009, the event was held in Glasgow, but at another venue, the Kelvin Hall.

Following Barry Hearn's takeover of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, the Grand Prix was reformatted and renamed to World Open.[1] The event gave a chance for amateurs to play alongside professionals.[2] The amateurs had to win 3 matches to qualify for the main draw.[3] On 9 January 2012 it was announced, that the World Open would be held in the next five years in Haikou on the Hainan Island.[4] In November 2014, it was announced that the tournament will not be held in the 2014/2015 season after the contract with the promoter was not renewed and a new venue was not found in time. But the intention is to bring the event back in the 2015/2016 season.[5]

Winners[edit]

Year Winner Runner-up Final score Venue Season
Professional Players Tournament
1982 Wales Ray Reardon England Jimmy White 10–5 England Birmingham 1982/1983
1983 England Tony Knowles England Joe Johnson 9–8 England Bristol 1983/1984
Grand Prix
1984 Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor Canada Cliff Thorburn 10–2 England Reading 1984/1985
1985 England Steve Davis Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 10–9 England Reading 1985/1986
1986 England Jimmy White England Rex Williams 10–6 England Reading 1986/1987
1987 Scotland Stephen Hendry Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 10–7 England Reading 1987/1988
1988 England Steve Davis Northern Ireland Alex Higgins 10–6 England Reading 1988/1989
1989 England Steve Davis England Dean Reynolds 10–0 England Reading 1989/1990
1990 Scotland Stephen Hendry England Nigel Bond 10–5 England Reading 1990/1991
1991 Scotland Stephen Hendry England Steve Davis 10–6 England Reading 1991/1992
1992 England Jimmy White Republic of Ireland Ken Doherty 10–9 England Reading 1992/1993
1993 England Peter Ebdon Republic of Ireland Ken Doherty 9–6 England Reading 1993/1994
1994 Scotland John Higgins England Dave Harold 9–6 England Derby 1994/1995
1995 Scotland Stephen Hendry Scotland John Higgins 9–5 England Sunderland 1995/1996
1996 Wales Mark Williams Scotland Euan Henderson 9–5 England Bournemouth 1996/1997
1997 Wales Dominic Dale Scotland John Higgins 9–6 England Bournemouth 1997/1998
1998 England Stephen Lee Hong Kong Marco Fu 9–2 England Preston 1998/1999
1999 Scotland John Higgins Wales Mark Williams 9–8 England Preston 1999/2000
2000 Wales Mark Williams England Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–5 England Telford 2000/2001
LG Cup
2001 England Stephen Lee England Peter Ebdon 9–4 England Preston 2001/2002
2002 Scotland Chris Small Scotland Alan McManus 9–5 England Preston 2002/2003
2003 Wales Mark Williams Scotland John Higgins 9–5 England Preston 2003/2004
Grand Prix
2004 England Ronnie O'Sullivan England Ian McCulloch 9–5 England Preston 2004/2005
2005 Scotland John Higgins England Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–2 England Preston 2005/2006
2006 Australia Neil Robertson England Jamie Cope 9–5 Scotland Aberdeen 2006/2007
2007 Hong Kong Marco Fu England Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–6 Scotland Aberdeen 2007/2008
2008 Scotland John Higgins Wales Ryan Day 9–7 Scotland Glasgow 2008/2009
2009 Australia Neil Robertson China Ding Junhui 9–4 Scotland Glasgow 2009/2010
World Open
2010 Australia Neil Robertson England Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–1 Scotland Glasgow 2010/2011
Haikou World Open
2012[6] Northern Ireland Mark Allen England Stephen Lee 10–1 China Haikou 2011/2012
2013[7] Northern Ireland Mark Allen Wales Matthew Stevens 10–4 China Haikou 2012/2013
2014[8] England Shaun Murphy England Mark Selby 10–6 China Haikou 2013/2014
World Grand Prix (Non-Ranking)
2015 England Judd Trump England Ronnie O'Sullivan 10–7 Wales Llandudno 2014/2015
World Grand Prix
2016 2015/2016

Records[edit]

The 1985 final between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor is the longest one-day final in snooker history. It lasted 10 hours and 21 minutes.[9]

In the 2005 final, John Higgins set two records:

  • His century breaks in the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth frames marked the first time a player had ever recorded centuries in four consecutive frames in a match during a ranking tournament.[10]
  • He scored 494 points without reply,[11] the greatest number in any professional snooker tournament at that time.[12] Currently Ronnie O'Sullivan holds the record with 556 points without reply against Ricky Walden in the 2014 Masters.[13] Higgins's tally remains the record for a ranking tournament.[14]

John Higgins and Stephen Hendry were the only players to have won this tournament four times each.

Media coverage[edit]

The World Open was shown live on Eurosport and Eurosport 2. It was shown on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Red Button, but the BBC confirmed that they would not be showing the 2012 edition. ITV4 televised the event in 2013.[15]

References[edit]

General
Special
  1. ^ "Hearn reveals future plans". Sky Sports. 2 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Amateurs to take on pros in World Open snooker". Sports City. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Reanne Evans invited to play in snooker World Open". BBC Sport. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Haikou To Stage World Open". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "World Open Removed From Calendar". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Haikou World Open (2012)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Yearly Yuan-jiang Gujinggong Liquor Haikou World Open (2013)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Gujinggong Liquor Haikou World Open (2014)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Dee, John (1 May 2001). "Ebdon quick to sit on fence". London: The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "John Higgins: ‘The Wizard of Wishaw’". stv.tv. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (8 May 2007). "Reborn Higgins joins the greats". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  12. ^ Everton, Clive. "Century-maker Higgins overwhelms O'Sullivan". theguardian.com. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  13. ^ McGovern, Thomas (17 January 2014). "Awesome O'Sullivan Smashes Record". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Turner, Chris. "Various Snooker Records". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Metcalfe, Nick (6 February 2013). "ITV to show first ranking event in 20 years as deal agreed to screen snooker's World Open". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 9 February 2013.