World Open (snooker)

The World Open is a professional ranking snooker tournament. Throughout its history, the tournament has undergone numerous revamps and name changes. It started out in 1982 as the Professional Players Tournament, but for most of the 1980s and 1990s it was known as the Grand Prix. It was renamed the LG Cup from 2001–2003 before reverting back to the Grand Prix until 2010. Since then it has been known as the World Open.

World Open
Tournament information
VenueYushan Sport Centre
LocationYushan, Shangrao, Jiangxi
Organisation(s)World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
FormatRanking event
Current champion(s) Judd Trump

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. Judd Trump is the defending champion.


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. Previously, only the World Championship carried ranking points. Ray Reardon beat Jimmy White by 10 frames to 5 in the final to win the first prize of £5,000. Reardon became the oldest winner of a ranking event at the age of 50 years and 14 days. This still remains the record.

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 Preston 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 an 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 would 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.[5] The event returned in the 2016/2017 season and is now held in Yushan.[6]


Year Winner Runner-up Final score Venue Season
Professional Players Tournament
1982 Ray Reardon Jimmy White 10–5 Birmingham 1982/1983
1983 Tony Knowles Joe Johnson 9–8 Bristol 1983/1984
Grand Prix
1984 Dennis Taylor Cliff Thorburn 10–2 Reading 1984/1985
1985 Steve Davis Dennis Taylor 10–9 Reading 1985/1986
1986 Jimmy White Rex Williams 10–6 Reading 1986/1987
1987 Stephen Hendry Dennis Taylor 10–7 Reading 1987/1988
1988 Steve Davis Alex Higgins 10–6 Reading 1988/1989
1989 Steve Davis Dean Reynolds 10–0 Reading 1989/1990
1990 Stephen Hendry Nigel Bond 10–5 Reading 1990/1991
1991 Stephen Hendry Steve Davis 10–6 Reading 1991/1992
1992 Jimmy White Ken Doherty 10–9 Reading 1992/1993
1993 Peter Ebdon Ken Doherty 9–6 Reading 1993/1994
1994 John Higgins Dave Harold 9–6 Derby 1994/1995
1995 Stephen Hendry John Higgins 9–5 Sunderland 1995/1996
1996 Mark Williams Euan Henderson 9–5 Bournemouth 1996/1997
1997 Dominic Dale John Higgins 9–6 Bournemouth 1997/1998
1998 Stephen Lee Marco Fu 9–2 Preston 1998/1999
1999 John Higgins Mark Williams 9–8 Preston 1999/2000
2000 Mark Williams Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–5 Telford 2000/2001
LG Cup
2001 Stephen Lee Peter Ebdon 9–4 Preston 2001/2002
2002 Chris Small Alan McManus 9–5 Preston 2002/2003
2003 Mark Williams John Higgins 9–5 Preston 2003/2004
Grand Prix
2004 Ronnie O'Sullivan Ian McCulloch 9–5 Preston 2004/2005
2005 John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–2 Preston 2005/2006
2006 Neil Robertson Jamie Cope 9–5 Aberdeen 2006/2007
2007 Marco Fu Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–6 Aberdeen 2007/2008
2008 John Higgins Ryan Day 9–7 Glasgow 2008/2009
2009 Neil Robertson Ding Junhui 9–4 Glasgow 2009/2010
World Open
2010 Neil Robertson Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–1 Glasgow 2010/2011
Haikou World Open
2012[7] Mark Allen Stephen Lee 10–1 Haikou 2011/2012
2013[8] Mark Allen Matthew Stevens 10–4 Haikou 2012/2013
2014[9] Shaun Murphy Mark Selby 10–6 Haikou 2013/2014
World Open
2016[10] Ali Carter Joe Perry 10–8 Yushan 2016/2017
2017[11] Ding Junhui Kyren Wilson 10–3 Yushan 2017/2018
2018[12] Mark Williams David Gilbert 10–9 Yushan 2018/2019
2019[13] Judd Trump Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10–5 Yushan 2019/2020


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.[14]

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.[15]
  • He scored 494 points without reply,[16] the greatest number in any professional snooker tournament at that time.[17] Currently Ronnie O'Sullivan holds the record with 556 points without reply against Ricky Walden in the 2014 Masters.[18] Higgins's tally remains the record for a ranking tournament.[19]

John Higgins, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams are the only players to have won this tournament four times each.

Media coverage

The World Open is currently shown live on Eurosport. Prior to the event moving to China, it was aired extensively on the BBC, ever since 1984. ITV4 televised the event in 2013.[20]


  • Turner, Chris. "Professional Players Tournament, Grand Prix, LG Cup". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  • Turner, Chris. "World Open". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  • "Hall of Fame (1982–2010)". Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  • "Hall of Fame (2012–2014)". Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  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". World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  5. "World Open Removed From Calendar". World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  6. Calendar 2016/2017
  7. "Haikou World Open (2012)". Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  8. "Yearly Yuan-jiang Gujinggong Liquor Haikou World Open (2013)". Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  9. "Gujinggong Liquor Haikou World Open (2014)". Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  10. "Hanteng Autos World Open (2016)". Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  11. "Yushan World Open (2017)". Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  12. "HongRuiMa Yushan World Open (2018)". Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  13. "Zhiyuan Huanbao Yushan World Open (2019)". Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  14. Dee, John (1 May 2001). "Ebdon quick to sit on fence". London: The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  15. "John Higgins: 'The Wizard of Wishaw'". Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  16. Chowdhury, Saj (8 May 2007). "Reborn Higgins joins the greats". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  17. Everton, Clive. "Century-maker Higgins overwhelms O'Sullivan". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  18. McGovern, Thomas (17 January 2014). "Awesome O'Sullivan Smashes Record". World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  19. Turner, Chris. "Various Snooker Records". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2011.