Welsh Open

Snooker’s Welsh Open will once again take place at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff this season, with the sport’s leading cue kings heading to the Welsh capital.

The world ranking tournament is one of the longest running on the snooker calendar, ever present since 1992. It has a rich history in South Wales and will now be staged at the Motorpoint Arena for the fourth consecutive year.

This time it will run from February 26 to March 4 and tickets are on sale now.

Stuart Bingham lifted the Ray Reardon Trophy last year after beating Judd Trump 9-8 in a dramatic final. Other winners in recent years include Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Ding Junhui, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson.

Once again a stellar field of 128 of the sport’s top players is expected to enter and battle for the title.

The Welsh Open, televised live by Eurosport, is the fourth and last of the season’s Home Nations series and carries a top prize of £70,000.

And any player winning all four Home Nations events will also earn a massive £1 million bonus. So if a player wins the English, Northern Ireland and Scottish Opens he will head to Cardiff dreaming of that unprecedented prize.

Welshman Ryan Day is particularly looking forward to the event as this season he will head to Cardiff as a ranking event champion for the first time, having landed his maiden title at last week’s Riga Masters.

“I always look forward to the Welsh Open and it will be extra special for me this time with a title under my belt,” said Bridgend’s Day. “It was a massive relief for me to win my first tournament because I had lost in a few finals before, I am getting older and I knew it was only going to get harder for me to get a trophy.

“Since the Welsh Open moved to Cardiff it seems to have been really well supported, whether it’s a 10am session on a Monday morning or Ronnie O’Sullivan playing on a Friday night. The fans love it and hopefully this time the Welsh players can do better than we have done in the past.”

Home Nations series 2017/18

English Open – Barnsley Metrodome. October 16-22

Northern Ireland Open – Waterfront Centre, Belfast. November 20-26

Scottish Open – Emirates Arena, Glasgow. December 11-17

Welsh Open – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff. February 26 to March 4