Challenge Tour (snooker)

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Challenge Tour
Tournament information
Venue World Snooker Centre
Location Prestatyn
Country United Kingdom
Established 1994/1995
Organisation(s) World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
Format Non-ranking
Final year 2004/2005
Final champion(s) England Jamie Cope

The Challenge Tour was a series of professional snooker tournaments that ran from the 1997/1998 season until the end of the 2004/2005 season.[1] The tour was immediately below the level of the World Snooker Main Tour. The series was initially known as WPBSA Minor Tour and then UK Tour.


The concept of a secondary professional tour was first experimented with in the 1994/1995 season in the form of the WPBSA Minor Tour to provide competition for lower ranked professionals, but only ran for a season.[2] Due to over-subscription of the World Snooker Tour, a two-tiered tour structure was adopted from the 1997/1998 season resulting in the Main Tour and the UK Tour. The Main Tour had an exclusive membership, whereas initially the whole professional membership could compete on the UK Tour and the best performers could earn promotion.[1] From the 1999/2000 season entry was limited to players not competing on the Main Tour,[1] and from the 2001/2002 season the UK Tour itself had an exclusive membership.[3] From the 2000/2001 season it was rebranded the Challenge Tour.[2]

In its first season there were five events, but the number was reduced to four in the following seasons.[2] There were two official maximum breaks at the UK Tour, both being made in the 1998/1999 season. In Event 3 Stuart Bingham made it against Barry Hawkins and in Event 4 Nick Dyson made it against Adrian Gunnell.[1]

The tour was discontinued after 2004/2005 season, but the concept was revived with the introduction of the Pro Challenge Series in 2009/2010.[4] Only four of the planned seven events were played before the series was axed due to low player participation.[5] The 2010/2011 season saw the introduction of the Players Tour Championship, a secondary tour comprising tournaments carrying ranking points, but at a much lower tariff than the major televised tournaments.

Event finals[edit]


Season Event Winner Runner-up Final score
WPBSA Minor Tour
1994/1995 Event 1 England Jamie Woodman England Matt Wilson 6–2
Event 2 Thailand Noppadon Noppachorn Malaysia Sammy Chong 8–6
Event 3 Scotland John Lardner England Eddie Manning 5–2
Event 4 England Colin Morton England Matthew Couch 6–5
Event 5 England David Roe Malta Tony Drago 6–3
Event 6 Scotland Drew Henry Wales Mark Williams 6–5
UK Tour
1997/1998 Event 1 Scotland Paul McPhillips England Michael Holt 6–5
Event 2 Wales Mark Fenton England Antony Bolsover 6–4
Event 3 England Simon Bedford England Robert Milkins 6–4
Event 4 Northern Ireland Patrick Wallace England Shaun Murphy 6–4
Event 5 England Paul Sweeny Scotland Hugh Abernethy 6–5
1998/1999 Event 1 England Alfie Burden Wales Anthony Davies 6–5
Event 2 Northern Ireland Joe Swail England Alfie Burden 6–1
Event 3 England Stuart Bingham England Matthew Couch 6–1
Event 4 Wales James Reynolds England Jason Ferguson 6–4
1999/2000 Event 1 England Matt Wilson England Barry Hawkins 6–4
Event 2 England Andrew Higginson Scotland Scott MacKenzie 6–3
Event 3 England Simon Bedford England Barry Hawkins 6–5
Event 4 England Barry Hawkins England Craig Butler 6–1
Challenge Tour
2000/2001 Event 1 England Adrian Rosa England Surinder Gill 6–4
Event 2 England Andrew Norman England Luke Fisher 6–3
Event 3 England Shaun Murphy England Andrew Norman 6–3
Event 4 England Shaun Murphy England Luke Simmonds 6–2
2001/2002 Event 1 Wales James Reynolds England Steve Judd 6–5
Event 2 Republic of Ireland Leo Fernandez Wales Ryan Day 6–3
Event 3 England Lee Spick Republic of Ireland Joe Delaney 6–3
Event 4 England David Gilbert Wales Ryan Day 6–3
2002/2003 Event 1 England Chris Melling England Tom Ford 6–2
Event 2 England Adrian Rosa England Stuart Mann 6–5
Event 3 England Michael Rhodes England Luke Simmonds 6–5
Event 4 Norway Kurt Maflin England James Leadbetter 6–2
2003/2004 Event 1 England Stefan Mazrocis England Paul Davison 6–2
Event 2 Scotland Hugh Abernethy England Gary Wilson 6–0
Event 3 England Brian Salmon England Steve James 6–1
Event 4 England Gary Wilson China Jin Long 6–4
2004/2005 Event 1 England Jamie Cope England Chris Norbury 6–2
Event 2 England James Tatton England Matthew Barnes 6–4
Event 3 Scotland James McBain Northern Ireland Mark Allen 6–3
Event 4 England Jamie Cope England Matthew Couch 6–0
Pro Challenge Series
2009/2010 Event 1 Scotland Stephen Maguire Scotland Alan McManus 5–2
Event 2[a] Republic of Ireland Ken Doherty England Martin Gould 6–2
Event 3 England Robert Milkins England Joe Jogia 5–3
Event 5[b] England Barry Hawkins England Michael Holt 5–1

Order of Merit winners[edit]


Season Winner
UK Tour
1997/1998 Scotland Paul McPhillips
1998/1999 England Alfie Burden
1999/2000 England Barry Hawkins
Challenge Tour
2000/2001 England Shaun Murphy
2001/2002 Wales Ryan Day
2002/2003 England Martin Gould
2003/2004 England Brian Salmon
2004/2005 England Jamie Cope


  • a Played under the variant six-red format.
  • b Event 4 was cancelled, so Event 5 ended up being the fourth and final event.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "WPBSA Secondary Professional Tour". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Hayton, Eric (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker. Suffolk: Rose Villa Publications. pp. Introduction, 166, 167 & 171–186. ISBN 978-0-9548549-0-4. 
  3. ^ "2000 / 2001 Challenge Tour". fcsnooker. Preston, Lancashire: The Frank Callan Suite. 26 April 2002. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Hendon, Dave (30 June 2009). "Pro Challenge Series Launched". Snooker Scene Blog. Snooker Scene. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Hendon, Dave (2 March 2010). "Pro Challenge Series Axed". Snooker Scene Blog. Snooker Scene. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Pro Challenge Series 2009/10". Global Snooker. Retrieved 25 February 2012.