Tour Championship (snooker) snooker tournament

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Tour Championship
Coral Tour Championship Logo.png
Tournament information
CountryUnited Kingdom
Established2019
Organisation(s)WPBSA
FormatRanking event
Total prize fund£380,000
Current champion(s)Australia Neil Robertson

The Tour Championship is a professional snooker tournament first held in 2019. The event features eight participants, the highest ranked players from the one-year ranking list beginning at the start of the season. The Tour Championship is the third and final tournament that makes up the Cazoo Cup. The event features a prize fund of around £380,000, with the winner receiving £150,000. The tournament is broadcast by ITV4 in the United Kingdom and Eurosport across the rest of Europe. The reigning champion is Australian Neil Robertson, who won the 2021 Tour Championship with a 10–4 win over Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final.

History

Outside image of Venue Cymru
Ronnie O'Sullivan
The 2019 Tour Championship was played at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, Wales. Ronnie O'Sullivan won the inaugural event in 2019.

The tournament was announced in April 2018, and was scheduled to be played for the first time in March 2019.[1] The event was organised as the third and final event to make up the Coral Cup (now Cazoo Cup), tournaments sponsored by bookmakers Coral which use the rankings exclusively from the season prior.[1] The tournaments in the Cup featured declining player entries, with the first event, the World Grand Prix having 32 participants, and the Players Championship 16.[1] The Tour Championship is the tournament with the lowest number of entries of any tournament on the calendar, with just eight participants.[2] The tournament is broadcast by ITV4 in the United Kingdom, Eurosport across Europe.[3][4] The event also airs on Sky Sport in New Zealand, NowTV in Hong Kong, and Superstars Online in China.[3]

The first edition of the tournament was played in 2019 at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, Wales after the Players Championship was moved from Llandudno to Preston in 2019.[5] The 2019 Tour Championship was the first event since the 2010 UK Championship (and other than the World Snooker Championship) in which every match was played over multiple sessions, with two in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, and three sessions in the final.[6] The best-of-25-frames final, held on 23 and 24 March, was the first non-World Championship match of this length or longer since the 1992 UK Championship final.[7] The 2019 final was played between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Neil Robertson, who had also met in the Players Championship final two weeks prior.[8] O'Sullivan lead 5-3 after the first session and later won the match and the tournament 13-11.[9] The win also gave O'Sullivan the Coral Cup for the 2018-19 season.[10]

The 2020 Tour Championship was moved in both date and location due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Matches were also shortened with all matches being either best-of-17 or best-of-19 frame matches.[11] It was originally organised to be played from 17 to 22 March 2020 but on the morning of the first day, it was postponed.[12][13] On 5 June 2020, the tournament was rescheduled to be held between 20 and 26 June 2020 and moved to a different venue, the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, England.[14] Due to the pandemic, Ding Junhui was unable to participate, and was replaced by Stephen Maguire.[15] Maguire reached the final, where he defeated Mark Allen 10-6 in the final, to win his first ranking title since the 2013 Welsh Open.[16]

The 2021 event was also held with no live audience but was held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Waleswith all matches as the best-of-19 frames.[17] Defending champion Maguire did not qualify for the event, having not scored enough ranking points during the season.[18] The final was between the two players who contested the 2019 event, Robertson and O'Sullivan.[19] Robertson won the event with a 10-4 win in the final.[20][21] O'Sullivan commented he could not complete with Robertson's performance, saying "I've never seen anyone play as well as that."[22]

Winners

Below is a summary of the results from the previously held tournaments.

Year Winner Runner-up Final score Venue Season Refs
2019 England Ronnie O'Sullivan Australia Neil Robertson 13–11 Wales Llandudno 2018–19 [23]
2020 Scotland Stephen Maguire Northern Ireland Mark Allen 10–6 England Milton Keynes 2019–20 [24]
2021 Australia Neil Robertson England Ronnie O'Sullivan 10–4 Wales Newport 2020–21 [25]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Coral To Sponsor New Snooker Series - World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Tour Championship Added To ITV's Series Of Snooker Events". World Snooker. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Tournament Broadcasters 2018–19". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 25 September 2018. Archived from the original on 10 January 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  4. ^ "ITV extends World Snooker Tour deal to 2022". Sport On The Box. 2021-01-18. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  5. ^ "Coral Tour Championship". World Snooker. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  6. ^ Caulfield, David (18 March 2019). "Tour Championship Draw and Preview". SnookerHQ. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Coral Tour Championship". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 1 February 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Neil Robertson to face Ronnie O'Sullivan after beating Mark Allen". BBC Sport. 22 March 2019. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  9. ^ "O'Sullivan Claims Record Equalling Title". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 24 March 2019. Archived from the original on 24 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  10. ^ Kane, Desmond (24 March 2019). "Snooker news – Ronnie O'Sullivan makes astonishing return to world no 1 with Tour Championship win". Eurosport UK. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Coral Tour Championship Draw And Format". World Snooker. 12 June 2020. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  12. ^ Kane, Desmond (17 March 2020). "How will coronavirus crisis affect Tour Championship?". Eurosport UK. Archived from the original on 23 August 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Coral Tour Championship Postponed". World Snooker. 17 March 2020. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Coral Tour Championship To Run In June On ITV4". World Snooker. 5 June 2020. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "Ding Junhui pulls out of Tour Championship as 'safety precaution'". BBC Sport. 11 June 2020. Archived from the original on 22 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Magnificent Maguire Ends Title Drought - World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 1 March 2021. 2013 Welsh Open
  17. ^ "Cazoo Tour Championship snooker: Draw, schedule and results for ranking event". Sporting Life. UK. Archived from the original on 22 March 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Cazoo Tour Championship Draw And Format". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 22 March 2021. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Tour Championship snooker 2021 – Ronnie O'Sullivan and Neil Robertson all square in final". Eurosport UK. 28 March 2021. Archived from the original on 29 March 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Robertson beats O'Sullivan to win title". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 29 March 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  21. ^ Snowball, Ben (28 March 2021). "Tour Championship snooker 2021: 'Like he was playing pool' – Ronnie O'Sullivan lauds Neil Robertson". Eurosport UK. Archived from the original on 29 March 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Tour Championship snooker 2021: 'Like he was playing pool' – Ronnie O'Sullivan lauds Neil Robertson". Eurosport UK. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  23. ^ "O'Sullivan Claims Record Equalling Title". World Snooker. 24 March 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Magnificent Maguire Ends Title Drought". World Snooker. 26 June 2020. Archived from the original on 28 June 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  25. ^ "Relentless Robertson Storms To Tour Title". World Snooker Tour. 28 March 2021.

External links

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