The Scottish Open is a snooker tournament, first played in 1981
Having previously had various different names, the tournament has not always been hosted in Scotland
Mark Selby is the Scottish Open reigning champion
Snooker betting odds attention might be focused on the World Championships, Masters and UK Championships, but committed snooker bettors will have a keen eye on tournaments throughout the season. One such high-profile event is the Scottish Open.
Regular visitors of snooker betting tips pages will be well aware of the Scottish Open’s turbulent history. It’s a much newer event than the iconic Triple Crown competitions, though that’s not to say it lacks prestige.
World number ones and world champions aplenty have battled it out for the Scottish Open crown. Three-time world champion Mark Selby is the current Scottish Open holder, having won the event in 2019 and 2020.
The biggest names, those atop the snooker world rankings, have enjoyed success at the Scottish Open, but it has been come and gone from the snooker calendar.
Operating under different guises, in an array of locations, it clearly is not on a par with snooker’s Triple Crown events.
That’s not to say it’s irrelevant in a year of snooker, though. The Scottish Open has provided fans with some spectacular moments and many memorable matches, none more so than the epic 2017 final between Neil Robertson and Cao Yupeng.
Here’s everything you need to know about Snooker’s Scottish Open, including the history of the tournament, its various locations, potential winnings and past winners.
Scottish Open History:
To really understand the history of the Scottish Open, it’s important to emphasise that the current name is a relatively modern change.
First played in 1981, it was known as the International Open and it was a non-ranking event when Steve Davis beat Dennis Taylor in the final.
It became the second ranking event for 1982. Still known as the International Open, Tony Knowles was the second champion in the 1982-83 season before Davis went back-to-back in 1983 and 1984.
The first name change came in 1985. Sponsorship saw what we know as the Scottish Open become the Matchroom Trophy
This title remained for only one year as sponsorship changed once again – Cliff Thorburn was the one and only champion of the Matchroom Trophy.
The following four events went relatively smoothly. Back under the International Open name, the event was won by Neal Foulds in 1986 before Davis won three years in a row. There was a brief two-year hiatus after Davis’ 1989 title.
Back for 1992-93, the International Open had sponsorship from Sky Sports. Played at a new venue and at a different time of year, the event was played every year from 1993 until 1997.
In 1998, the International Open was no longer. Now called the Scottish Open, the event was beginning to look like what 21st century snooker fans know it as.
Once again, though, the tournament was tweaked in 2004. Jimmy White won what was called the Players Championship that year, which was the final event on the tour.
Sky opted not to renew their contract, however. A lengthy hiatus resulted. The Scottish Open did not return until 2012-13, when it was revamped as a minor-ranking tournament as the fifth event of the European Tour.
In 2015, snooker chief Barry Hearn announced the Scottish Open’s permanent return. It was back for the 2016/17 season as part of the Home Nations Series.
With six wins from eight finals appearances, Steve Davis is the most successful player in the history of the event. Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby and John Higgins are the only other players to have won the tournament more than once.
Scottish Open Location:
The International Open began in Derby. Steve Davis and Tony Knowles won their titles at the Assembly Rooms, before the competition shifted north to Newcastle Upon Tyne and Eldon Square.
Just like Derby, Newcastle only retained the event for two years before a change was once again in order. Trentham Gardens in Stoke hosted the Matchroom Trophy and International Open for five years.
Stephen Hendry won as the tournament transported south to Plymouth in 1993. John Parrott and John Higgins won the two years in Bournemouth, then Higgins claimed his second title in Swindon.
The event moved north of the border in 1998. Aberdeen’s Exhibition Centre was the venue. This remained the case until 2003 – the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh was host in 2003, but Glasgow was the host city for the Players Championship in 2004.
The one-off minor-ranking event in 2012 was held in Ravenscraig before a return to Glasgow from 2016 onwards.
Scottish Open Prize Money:
The Scottish Open has a total prize money of £405,000. This is the same as the other Home Nations Series tournaments, and there’s a potential £1,000,000 prize on offer for any player who wins all four events in the same season.
The Scottish Open winner receives £70,000. This is under half of what the winner of the World Open pockets, and £30,000 lower than what losing semi-finalists land at the World Championships.
Scottish Open Winners:
1981 – Steve Davis
1982 – Tony Knowles
1983 – Steve Davis
1984 – Steve Davis
1985 – Cliff Thorburn
1986 – Neal Foulds
1987 – Steve Davis
1988 – Steve Davis
1989 – Steve Davis
1993 – Stephen Hendry
1994 – John Parrott
1995 – John Higgins
1996 – John Higgins
1997 – Stephen Hendry
1998 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
1999 – Stephen Hendry
2000 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
2001 – Peter Ebdon
2002 – Stephen Lee
2003 – David Gray
2004 – Jimmy White
2012 – Ding Junhui
2016 – Marco Fu
2017 – Neil Robertson
2018 – Mark Allen
2019 – Mark Selby
2020 – Mark Selby
Scottish Open Betting:
Whether a sports betting expert or looking for betting odds explained, the Scottish Open is a popular tournament with gamblers around the snooker-following world.
As always, there will be familiar names atop the odds. There were a handful of upsets at the 2020 edition, but it’s rare to see an underdog make it all the way to the final.
Since the tournament’s reinstatement, all of the winners have had career-best rankings in the top five in the world. The 2020 final showed was a rematch of a long-running rivalry between Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Of course, it’s always important to look at recent form when making Scottish Open betting decisions
This could be particularly important if a player has enjoyed success at the English and Northern Ireland Opens – how will that impact their Scottish Open performance?
*Credit for the main photo belongs to Aijaz Rahi / AP Photo*