Welsh Open Snooker Tickets
Welsh Open Snooker: Cardiff hosts one of snooker's top events
First held over a quarter of a century ago, The Welsh Open is one of the top ranking events in the snooker calendar. Now part of the new Home Nations Series – along with the English Open (the Steve Davis Trophy); the Northern Ireland Open (the Alex Higgins Trophy) and the Scottish Open (the Stephen Hendry Trophy) – the tournament cup was named the Ray Reardon Trophy in 2016 to honour the legendary Welsh world champion.
Since replacing the Welsh Professional Championship (which was only open to Welsh players) in 1992, Mark Williams is the only Welshman to have won the championship; taking the title in both 1996 and 1999. Williams was also a runner-up in 2003, while compatriot Darren Morgan lost to Stephen Hendry in the event's inaugural year. John Higgins holds the record for the most wins, with five Welsh Open titles, while Ronnie O'Sullivan has won the tournament four times.
The final Home Nations Series event of the snooker calendar, there is a bonus of £1,000,000 for any player who manages to win all four events in the same season. Buy Welsh Open snooker tickets now at StubHub and see the sport's top players live.
Welsh Open Snooker: one of four Home Nations Series events
Beginning in 1992, the Welsh Open was initially dominated by Scottish players; with a Scot appearing in eight of the event's first nine finals. Welshman Mark Williams took the title in 1996 – the same year that Paul Hunter (aged 17 years and 111 days) become the youngest player to reach a ranking tournament semi-finals. Hunter, who died of cancer aged 27 in 2006, went on to win the title in 1998 and 2002.
In 1999, Ronnie O'Sullivan became the first player to make a 147 maximum break at the event. O'Sullivan, who holds the record for the most maximum breaks in professional competition, made another 147 – his 12th – against China's Ding Junhui at the 2014 Welsh Open; surpassing joint-leader Stephen Hendry in the process (who made 11) to become the outright record holder. Two years later, while playing Barry Pinches in the first round, O'Sullivan declined the opportunity to make a maximum break, describing the £10,000 prize money on offer as "too cheap". He potted the pink off the penultimate red and made a highly-publicised 146. Despite the controversy, O'Sullivan went on to win the tournament.
The current champion is John Higgins, who beat Barry Hawkins 9-7 to take home the Ray Reardon Trophy. Who will be crowned champion in 2019? Buy Welsh Open snooker tickets at StubHub and find out live.
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