Analysis

Who has won the most ranking events in professional snooker?

Credit: George Wood/Getty ImagesCredit: George Wood/Getty Images
Credit: George Wood/Getty Images | George Wood/Getty Images
A potted history on ranking events and a full list of players who have claimed at least one title

Ranking events and a world ranking system have been part of professional snooker since the mid 1970s. 

The World Snooker Championship had regularly been held since 1926/27, but it wasn’t until the mid 1970s that the top flight circuit began to thrive as the visibility of the sport and its popularity increased. 

A ranking system was first used for the 1976/77 season, although the world championship was the only ranking event. To populate a ranking list, the authorities used the results from the three previous world championships (1974-76) and retrospectively awarded each of these editions ranking event status. 

As snooker enjoyed a significant boom period in the 1980s, further events were given ranking status, and the rankings reflected who the best and most consistent players in the world were. 

To date, over 400 ranking events have been played, with tournaments held in 23 different countries: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, India, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Wales. 

Full list of ranking event winners in order of who has the most titles: 

  • 41: Ronnie O'Sullivan 

  • 36: Stephen Hendry  

  • 31: John Higgins  

  • 28: Steve Davis, Judd Trump 

  • 26: Mark Williams 

  • 23: Neil Robertson 

  • 22: Mark Selby 

  • 14: Ding Junhui 

  • 12: Shaun Murphy  

  • 11: Mark Allen 

  • 10: Jimmy White 

  • 9: John Parrott, Peter Ebdon 

  • 6: Ken Doherty, Stuart Bingham, Stephen Maguire, Kyren Wilson, Ali Carter 

  • 5: Ray Reardon, Stephen Lee 

  • 4: Ryan Day, Luca Brecel, Barry Hawkins

  • 3: James Wattana, Paul Hunter, Ricky Walden, Marco Fu, Gary Wilson 

  • 2: Tony Knowles, Dennis Taylor, Cliff Thorburn, Doug Mountjoy, Alan McManus, Graeme Dott, Dominic Dale, Anthony McGill, Michael White, Zhao Xintong, Joe Perry, Robert Milkins 

  • 1: John Spencer, Terry Griffiths, Alex Higgins, Willie Thorne, Silvino Francisco, Joe Johnson, Neal Foulds, Tony Meo, Mike Hallett, Steve James, Bob Chaperon, Tony Jones, Dave Harold, Nigel Bond, Fergal O'Brien, Chris Small, David Gray, Matthew Stevens, Martin Gould, Liang Wenbo, Mark King, Anthony Hamilton, Michael Georgiou, Jimmy Robertson, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Matthew Selt, Yan Bingtao, Michael Holt, Jordan Brown, David Gilbert, Hossein Vafaei, Fan Zhengyi, Chris Wakelin, Zhang Anda 

(List last updated after the 2024 Championship League Snooker Ranking Event

75 players from 14 different countries have won at least one world ranking event. 

The most decorated ranking event winner in the history of professional snooker is Ronnie O’Sullivan, who currently has 41 titles. ‘The Rocket’ overtook Stephen Hendry’s benchmark of 36 when he won the 2020 World Championship. 

Following several ranking event winners from the United Kingdom, the first player from outside the UK and the first player from North America to win a ranking title was Cliff Thorburn (Canada) at the 1980 World Championship. 

Silvino Francisco (South Africa) was the first player from Africa to win a ranking event with his success at the 1985 British Open. 

Thailand's James Wattana won the 1992 Strachan Open to become Asia's maiden ranking event champion; Australia's Neil Robertson triumphed at the 2006 Grand Prix and was the first ranking winner from Oceania. 

The first player from mainland Europe to triumph at a ranking event was Belgium’s Luca Brecel at the 2017 China Championship.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.