Welsh Open

Welsh Open

The tournament began as a ranking tournament in 1992 initially in February after the Masters, but later took the spot of the Classic in January. The event was sponsored by Regal until 2003 (known as the Regal Welsh Open), but UK restrictions on tobacco advertising meant that it was without a sponsor until 2009. The tournament was sponsored by Totesport.com in 2010, by Wyldecrest Park Homes in 2011, by 888 in 2012, and is currently sponsored by BetVictor.

In 1996 at the age of 17 years and 111 days Paul Hunter reached the semi-finals and became the youngest player to reach this stage of a ranking tournament.

John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan jointly hold the record for the most Welsh Open titles, both having won the event on 4 occasions.

Like the Welsh Professional Championship, it was played at the Newport Centre in Newport, before moving to the Cardiff International Arena in 1999. It was moved back to Newport in 2005, where it remained until 2014. In January 2014, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn announced that the 2014 tournament would be the last held in Newport, and that he would open negotiations to move the event to a larger venue, most likely in Cardiff. In June 2014, it was then announced that the 2015 event will be held at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. The tournament currently takes place after the German Masters, and is broadcast by BBC Wales, Eurosport, CCTV, SMG, Now TV and Showtime Arabia.

There have been six maximum breaks in the history of the tournament. The first was made by Ronnie O'Sullivan in 1999 against James Wattana. The second was made at the qualifying stage of the 2000 event by Barry Pinches against Joe Johnson. The third was made by Andrew Higginson in 2007 against Ali Carter. The fourth 147 was made in 2011 by Hendry against Stephen Maguire. This was Hendry's 10th 147 break and with this he equalled the record for most maximums with Ronnie O'Sullivan. He also became the oldest player to compile a maximum break at the age of 42 years and 35 days. The fifth was made by O'Sullivan in 2014 against Ding Junhui. This was O'Sullivan's 12th 147 break and with it he set the record for most maximums. The most recent maximum break was made by Ding Junhui at the quarter-finals of the 2016 tournament, against Neil Robertson.

Source: Wikipedia

Winners
Year Winner Runner-up Final score Season
Regal Welsh Open
1992 Stephen Hendry Darren Morgan 9:3 1991/92
1993 Ken Doherty Alan McManus 9:7 1992/93
1994 Steve Davis Alan McManus 9:6 1993/94
1995 Steve Davis John Higgins 9:3 1994/95
1996 Mark J Williams John Parrott 9:3 1995/96
1997 Stephen Hendry Mark King 9:2 1996/97
1998 Paul Alan Hunter John Higgins 9:5 1997/98
1999 Mark J Williams Stephen Hendry 9:8 1998/99
2000 John Higgins Stephen Lee 9:8 1999/00
2001 Ken Doherty Paul Alan Hunter 9:2 2000/01
2002 Paul Alan Hunter Ken Doherty 9:7 2001/02
2003 Stephen Hendry Mark J Williams 9:5 2002/03
Welsh Open
2004 Ronnie O'Sullivan Steve Davis 9:8 2003/04
2005 Ronnie O'Sullivan Stephen Hendry 9:8 2004/05
2006 Stephen Lee Shaun Murphy 9:4 2005/06
2007 Neil Robertson Andrew Higginson 9:8 2006/07
2008 Mark Selby Ronnie O'Sullivan 9:8 2007/08
2009 Allister Carter Joe Swail 9:5 2008/09
2010 John Higgins Allister Carter 9:4 2009/10
2011 John Higgins Stephen Maguire 9:6 2010/11
2012 china Ding Junhui england Mark Selby 9:6 2011/12
2013 china Stephen Maguire england Stuart Bingham 9:8 2012/13
2014 china Ronnie O'Sullivan england Ding Junhui 9:3 2013/14
2015 china John Higgins england Ben Woollaston 9:3 2014/15