O’Sullivan To Play On Opening Night In Cheltenham
Snooker’s leading players will be in Cheltenham next month for the Coral World Grand Prix, with crowd favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan to play on the opening night.
Staged at the Centaur arena, it’s the first ever professional snooker event to be held at Cheltenham Racecourse. The world ranking event runs from February 4 to 10 with a top prize of £100,000 up for grabs.
The leading 32 players on snooker’s one-year ranking list qualify for the event. The field is not yet confirmed as there is still one more counting event, the German Masters which finishes on February 3.
However many top stars are already guaranteed a place in the draw. The following first round matches, for the current top eight players on the one-year list, have been scheduled:
Monday February 4
7pm: Five-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan v opponent 2018 Masters champion Mark Allen v opponent
Tuesday February 5: 1pm Current World Champion Mark Williams v opponent Triple Crown winner Neil Robertson v opponent
7pm: Northern Ireland Open champion Judd Trump v opponent Cheltenham's rising star Jack Lisowski v opponent
Wednesday February 6: 1pm World number one Mark Selby v opponent World Open finalist David Gilbert v opponent
Other top stars currently in line to qualify include John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham, Kyren Wilson, Barry Hawkins and Ding Junhui. The full draw and format will be announced as soon as it is available.
A spokesman for World Snooker said: “It’s looking like an incredibly strong field for Cheltenham, we’re delighted to see a superb line up building. This is going to be a great opportunity for the local fans to see the very best players on the planet and experience the unique thrill of live snooker.
"We have scheduled matches for the top eight so that fans know when their favourites will be in action. We expect tickets to sell extremely fast for those sessions so they must be booked quickly.
“There is a great sense of anticipation among the players to compete at the world famous Cheltenham Racecourse for the first time and we have no doubt that this will be a wonderful week of top class sporting action.”