Challenge Tour (snooker)


The Challenge Tour is a series of amateur snooker tournaments immediately below the level of the World Snooker Main Tour.

Challenge Tour
Tournament information
VenueWorld Snooker Centre
LocationPrestatyn
CountryUnited Kingdom
Established1994/1995
Organisation(s)WPBSA
FormatNon-ranking (1994–2005)
Amateur (2018–
Final yearActive

The tour has been revived for the 2018–19 season,[1] having previously run between the 1997–98 season and the end of the 2004–05 season.[2] The series was originally known as WPBSA Minor Tour and then UK Tour.

History


The concept of a secondary professional tour was first experimented with in the 1994–95 season in the form of the WPBSA Minor Tour to provide competition for lower ranked professionals, but only ran for a season.[3] Due to over-subscription of the World Snooker Tour, a two-tiered tour structure was adopted from the 1997–98 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.[2] From the 1999–2000 season, entry was limited to players not competing on the Main Tour,[2] and from the 2001–02 season the UK Tour itself had an exclusive membership.[4] From the 2000–01 season it was rebranded the Challenge Tour.[3]

In its first season there were five events, but the number was reduced to four in the following seasons.[3] There were two official maximum breaks at the UK Tour, both in the 1998–99 season; the first was made by Stuart Bingham against Barry Hawkins in Event 3, and the second by Nick Dyson against Adrian Gunnell in Event 4.[2]

The tour was discontinued after 2004–05 season, but the concept was revived with the introduction of the Pro Challenge Series in 2009–10.[5] Only four of the planned seven events were played before the series was axed due to low player participation.[6] The 2010–11 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.

The Challenge Tour was revived in the 2018–19 season, consisting of ten events each played over one or two days, with prize money offered and a maximum field of 72 players (top 64 of the Q School Order of Merit, plus eight wildcards). The top two players from the Challenge Tour Order of Merit received a tour card for the following season.[1] From the 2020–21 season, the Challenge Tour was rebranded as the Q Tour.[7]

Event finals


[2][3]

Season Event Winner Runner-up Final score
WPBSA Minor Tour (non-ranking)
1994–95Event 1 Jamie Woodman Matt Wilson6–2
Event 2 Noppadon Noppachorn Sammy Chong8–6
Event 3 John Lardner Eddie Manning5–2
Event 4 Colin Morton Matthew Couch6–5
Event 5 David Roe Tony Drago6–3
Event 6 Drew Henry Mark Williams6–5
UK Tour (non-ranking)
1997–98Event 1 Paul McPhillips Michael Holt6–5
Event 2 Mark Fenton Antony Bolsover6–4
Event 3 Simon Bedford Robert Milkins6–4
Event 4 Patrick Wallace Shaun Murphy6–4
Event 5 Paul Sweeny Hugh Abernethy6–5
1998–99Event 1 Alfie Burden Anthony Davies6–5
Event 2 Joe Swail Alfie Burden6–1
Event 3 Stuart Bingham Matthew Couch6–1
Event 4 James Reynolds Jason Ferguson6–4
1999–2000Event 1 Matt Wilson Barry Hawkins6–4
Event 2 Andrew Higginson Scott MacKenzie6–3
Event 3 Simon Bedford Barry Hawkins6–5
Event 4 Barry Hawkins Craig Butler6–1
Challenge Tour (non-ranking)
2000–01Event 1 Adrian Rosa Surinder Gill6–4
Event 2 Andrew Norman Luke Fisher6–3
Event 3 Shaun Murphy Andrew Norman6–3
Event 4 Shaun Murphy Luke Simmonds6–2
2001–02Event 1 James Reynolds Steve Judd6–5
Event 2 Leo Fernandez Ryan Day6–3
Event 3 Lee Spick Joe Delaney6–3
Event 4 David Gilbert Ryan Day6–3
2002–03Event 1 Chris Melling Tom Ford6–2
Event 2 Adrian Rosa Stuart Mann6–5
Event 3 Michael Rhodes Luke Simmonds6–5
Event 4 Kurt Maflin James Leadbetter6–2
2003–04Event 1 Stefan Mazrocis Paul Davison6–2
Event 2 Hugh Abernethy Gary Wilson6–0
Event 3 Brian Salmon Steve James6–1
Event 4 Gary Wilson Jin Long6–4
2004–05Event 1 Jamie Cope Chris Norbury6–2
Event 2 James Tatton Matthew Barnes6–4
Event 3 James McBain Mark Allen6–3
Event 4 Jamie Cope Matthew Couch6–0
Challenge Tour (amateur)
2018–19Event 1 Brandon Sargeant Luke Simmonds3–1
Event 2 David Grace Mitchell Mann3–0
Event 3 Barry Pinches Jackson Page3–2
Event 4 Mitchell Mann Dylan Emery3–0
Event 5 David Lilley Brandon Sargeant3–1
Event 6 David Grace Ben Hancorn3–0
Event 7 Joel Walker Jenson Kendrick3–0
Event 8 Simon Bedford David Lilley3–1
Event 9 Adam Duffy Matthew Glasby3–1
Event 10 George Pragnell Callum Lloyd3–2
2019–20Event 1 Ka Wai Cheung Oliver Brown3–1
Event 2 Jake Nicholson Andrew Pagett3–1
Event 3 Andrew Pagett Robbie McGuigan3–0
Event 4 Ashley Hugill Aaron Hill3–1
Event 5 Allan Taylor Michael Collumb3–1
Event 6 Oliver Brown Ashley Hugill3–1
Event 7 Dean Young Andrew Pagett3–1
Event 8 Lukas Kleckers Tyler Rees3–1
Event 9 Ashley Hugill Sydney Wilson3–1
Event 10 Adam Duffy Kuldesh Johal3–1
Tour Playoff Allan Taylor Adam Duffy4–0

Order of Merit winners


[2]

Season Winner
UK Tour (non-ranking)
1997–98 Paul McPhillips
1998–99 Alfie Burden
1999–2000 Barry Hawkins
Challenge Tour (non-ranking)
2000–01 Shaun Murphy
2001–02 Ryan Day
2002–03 Martin Gould
2003–04 Brian Salmon
2004–05 Jamie Cope
Challenge Tour (amateur)
2018–19 Brandon Sargeant
2019–20 Ashley Hugill

References


  1. "World Snooker Challenge Tour 2018/19". worldsnooker. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. "WPBSA Secondary Professional Tour". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  3. 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.
  4. "2000 / 2001 Challenge Tour". fcsnooker. Preston, Lancashire: The Frank Callan Suite. 26 April 2002. Archived from the original on 2010-10-10. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  5. Hendon, Dave (30 June 2009). "Pro Challenge Series Launched". Snooker Scene Blog. Snooker Scene. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  6. Hendon, Dave (2 March 2010). "Pro Challenge Series Axed". Snooker Scene Blog. Snooker Scene. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  7. "WPBSA Q Tour Launched". WPBSA. 2020-07-21. Retrieved 2021-07-22.