Scottish Open Snooker: Information and a Potted History

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The Scottish Open has been held across two spells on the professional snooker circuit; 1998 to 2003 and then 2016 to the current season.

The tournament has always been a world ranking event* open to all professional tour card holders, but since its return to the calendar following a 13-year hiatus it has been part of the four-pronged Home Nations Series and winners lift The Stephen Hendry Trophy.

Along with the other Home Nations Series events, the Scottish Open is currently a counting event on the BetVictor European Series. Ranking points also go on the one-year list.

Venues in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow have hosted the competition. Because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 2020 edition was held behind closed doors in Milton Keynes, England. 

Due to an issue with a gambling firm being the title sponsor of the 2021 installment, the tournament was unable to be held at the originally planned venue of the Emirates Arena in Glasgow - the same setting for the event between 2016 to 2019. With no other viable venues in Scotland at that point to hold the competition, it was played in Llandudno, Wales. 

During its initial run on the tour, the Scottish Open draw used a tiered system with the seeds/higher ranked players entering at a later stage, although from its re-introduction in 2016 a flat draw was in operation meaning all players started in the opening round (minus any preliminary/wildcard rounds). However, for the 2024 event, a tiered system will be back in place.

* In 2012 (part of the 2012/13 season) Event 5 on that season’s European Tour was held in Ravenscraig and titled the Scottish Open. This was a minor-ranking event won by Ding Junhui who defeated Anthony McGill 4-2 in the final. Kurt Maflin made a maximum 147 in the event.

Credit: Getty Images/Alex PantlingCredit: Getty Images/Alex Pantling
Credit: Getty Images/Alex Pantling | Getty Images/Alex Pantling

Scottish Open Snooker: Most successful players, stats, stories, best finals 

Three players have won the Scottish Open twice - Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Selby and Gary Wilson. Selby and Wilson also successfully defended the title. 

O'Sullivan's victories came during the first iteration of the tournament, winning the first and third episodes. 

'The Rocket' had an eventful trip to Aberdeen in 2000. In his last 32 tie against Quinten Hann, O'Sullivan compiled his fourth maximum 147 break in professional play to go 4-0 up, although when Hann back came, he needed a deciding frame – like he did in all three of his opening round matches – to go through.. 

In the semi-finals, O’Sullivan trailed Graeme Dott 4-0 before turning it around for a 6-5 win, and then breezed past Mark Williams 9-1 in the final. 

Gary Wilson’s glory in 2022 was his maiden ranking event title. Twelve months later, he joined an elite band of players to retain their first title despite looking down and out in a semi-final tie against Zhou Yuelong. Having recovered from a 5-3 deficit, Wilson needed three four-point snookers in the deciding frame with only the four remaining colours left. He successfully laid ones on the brown and blue before sinking the remaining colours and then the subsequent re-spotted black for a dramatic turnaround victory.

At the time of writing, Wilson is on a 14-match winning streak in the event. 

Another cueist to lift their first ranking trophy in this tournament was David Gray in 2003; his sole ranking accolade to date. The last final before its prolonged break, the title match featured two players outside the world’s top 16 at the time. Having lost to Stephen Lee 9-2 in his maiden ranking final in the same event the previous year, world number 19 Gray defeated Mark Selby 9-7. A 19-year-old Selby – ranked 53 at that point – was appearing in his first ranking final.

The best comeback in a Scottish Open final was produced by Neil Robertson in 2017. The Australian faced Cao Yupeng who was enjoying the week of his professional career, appearing in his maiden ranking final just a few days after compiling his first professional 147 in round one.

World number 67 Cao looked like completing a perfect trip to Glasgow when he led 8-4, but Robertson – who was temporarily outside the world’s top 16 - battled back, stringing together the final five frames to deny his opponent who rattled the final black for victory and left it in the jaws at 8-7 up.

Another very memorable Scottish Open final was served up for the competition’s return in 2016. Marco Fu had played superbly all week but found himself 3-0 down in the showpiece encounter to John Higgins who began the match with three consecutive century breaks.  

However, Fu registered a ton of his own to get on the board, and although Higgins claimed frame five for 4-1, Fu totted up the next eight frames in-a-row for a 9-4 victory.  

Scottish Open Snooker: Roll of Honour, Locations, Winner's Prize

1998: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-5 John Higgins (Aberdeen) | £60,000

1999: Stephen Hendry 9-1 Graeme Dott (Aberdeen) | £60,000

2000: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-1 Mark Williams (Aberdeen) | £62,000

2001: Peter Ebdon 9-7 Ken Doherty (Aberdeen) | £62,000

2002: Stephen Lee 9-2 David Gray (Aberdeen) | £82,500

2003: David Gray 9-7 Mark Selby (Edinburgh) | £82,500

2016: Marco Fu 9-4 John Higgins (Glasgow) | £70,000

2017: Neil Robertson 9-8 Cao Yupeng (Glasgow) | £70,000

2018: Mark Allen 9-7 Shaun Murphy (Glasgow) | £70,000

2019: Mark Selby 9-6 Jack Lisowski (Glasgow) | £70,000

2020: Mark Selby 9-3 Ronnie O'Sullivan (Milton Keynes, England) | £70,000

2021: Luca Brecel 9-5 John Higgins (Llandudno, Wales) | £70,000

2022: Gary Wilson 9-2 Joe O'Connor (Edinburgh) | £80,000

2023: Gary Wilson 9-5 Noppon Saengkham (Edinburgh) | £80,000

Scottish Open Snooker 147 Breaks 

  • 2000: Stephen Maguire (qualifying), Ronnie O’Sullivan (Last 32) 

  • 2017: Cao Yupeng (First Round) 

  • 2018: John Higgins (Second Round) 

  • 2020: Zhou Yuelong (First Round) 

  • 2021: Xiao Guodong (First Round ‘Qualifier’) 

  • 2022: Judd Trump (Second Round) 

(Players in bold denotes it was their first 147 in professional competition)

There have been seven maximum 147 breaks made throughout Scottish Open history. 

Ronnie O’Sullivan produced one in the last 32 of the 2000 edition and went on to lift the trophy at the end of the same tournament. 

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