The World Snooker Tour will return to Scotland for the first time in over two years in December with a tournament in Ravenscraig.
It will be the fifth event on the new Betfair European Tour, part of the Players Tour Championship series. The event at the 600-seater Ravenscraig Sports Facility will run from December 14 to 16 (Friday to Sunday) and will be televised by Eurosport.
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It will be the first World Snooker event in Scotland since the 2010 World Open and four-time World Champion John Higgins is delighted that the sport is returning to his homeland.
“Scotland deserves to have its own tournament so it’s brilliant news that we will have an event here. Hopefully it will be a stepping stone to something bigger,” said Wizard of Wishaw Higgins, who lives just a few miles away from Ravenscraig. “I hope the crowds will come out and enjoy it.”
Higgins had a poor season in 2011/12 by his standards and failed to add to his collection of trophies. He has missed the first two ranking events of the new campaign but will be back in action at the Players Tour Championship event in Gloucester this week and is raring to go.
“I feel that I need to prove myself again after such a bad season,” said the 37-year-old, who has slipped to seventh place in the world rankings. “I’ve been practising hard for the last ten days and looking forward to getting started again.”
Higgins has given himself fresh impetus by having a snooker room built in his house, and is also playing with a new cue.
“The cue was made by Trevor White and I’m really happy with it,” said the Scot. “You never know for sure until you use it at a tournament under pressure, but so far it feels good.
“Having a table at home will help me as well because we spend so much time travelling these days that you need to have some time at home in between tournaments, so it will allow me to have a few extra hours of practice.”
The winner of the Ravenscraig event will pocket £10,000 from a total prize fund of £50,000, and there are also world ranking points and PTC Order of Merit points up for grabs. Most of snooker’s top stars are expected to enter.
There will be one main TV table and ten other tables and fans will be able to move between tables to watch a host of snooker’s leading professionals in action.
The sessions will start at 9am on Friday December 14 and Saturday December 15 and at 10am on Sunday December 16.
Ravenscraig has over two-thirds of the population of Scotland within 90 minutes drive so large crowds are expected and fans are advised to book tickets quickly.