Challenge Tour (snooker)

The Challenge Tour is a series of professional snooker tournaments immediately below the level of the World Snooker Main Tour.

Challenge Tour
Tournament information
VenueWorld Snooker Centre
LocationPrestatyn
CountryUnited Kingdom
Established1994/1995
Organisation(s)WPBSA
FormatNon-ranking (1994–2005)
Amateur (2018–
Final yearActive

The tour has been revived for the 2018/2019 season,[1] having previously run between the 1997/1998 season and the end of the 2004/2005 season.[2] The series was originally known as WPBSA Minor Tour and then UK Tour.

HistoryEdit

The concept of a secondary professional tour was first experimented with in the 1994/1995 season in the form of the WPBSA Minor Tour to provide competition for lower ranked professionals, but only ran for a season.[3] Due to over-subscription of the World Snooker Tour, a two-tiered tour structure was adopted from the 1997/1998 season resulting in the Main Tour and the UK Tour. The Main Tour had an exclusive membership, whereas initially the whole professional membership could compete on the UK Tour and the best performers could earn promotion.[2] From the 1999/2000 season entry was limited to players not competing on the Main Tour,[2] and from the 2001/2002 season the UK Tour itself had an exclusive membership.[4] From the 2000/2001 season it was rebranded the Challenge Tour.[3]

In its first season there were five events, but the number was reduced to four in the following seasons.[3] There were two official maximum breaks at the UK Tour, both being made in the 1998/1999 season. In Event 3 Stuart Bingham made it against Barry Hawkins and in Event 4 Nick Dyson made it against Adrian Gunnell.[2]

The tour was discontinued after 2004/2005 season, but the concept was revived with the introduction of the Pro Challenge Series in 2009/2010.[5] Only four of the planned seven events were played before the series was axed due to low player participation.[6] The 2010/2011 season saw the introduction of the Players Tour Championship, a secondary tour comprising tournaments carrying ranking points, but at a much lower tariff than the major televised tournaments.

The tour has been revived in the 2018/2019 season. The tour now consists of 10 events with prize money offered played at a maximum of 2 days, with a maximum field of 72 players (top 64 of the Q School Order of Merit, plus 8 wildcards). The top 2 players from the Challenge Tour Order of Merit will receive a tour card for the following season.[1]

Event finalsEdit

[2][3]

Season Event Winner Runner-up Final score
WPBSA Minor Tour (non-ranking)
1994/1995 Event 1   Jamie Woodman   Matt Wilson 6–2
Event 2   Noppadon Noppachorn   Sammy Chong 8–6
Event 3   John Lardner   Eddie Manning 5–2
Event 4   Colin Morton   Matthew Couch 6–5
Event 5   David Roe   Tony Drago 6–3
Event 6   Drew Henry   Mark Williams 6–5
UK Tour (non-ranking)
1997/1998 Event 1   Paul McPhillips   Michael Holt 6–5
Event 2   Mark Fenton   Antony Bolsover 6–4
Event 3   Simon Bedford   Robert Milkins 6–4
Event 4   Patrick Wallace   Shaun Murphy 6–4
Event 5   Paul Sweeny   Hugh Abernethy 6–5
1998/1999 Event 1   Alfie Burden   Anthony Davies 6–5
Event 2   Joe Swail   Alfie Burden 6–1
Event 3   Stuart Bingham   Matthew Couch 6–1
Event 4   James Reynolds   Jason Ferguson 6–4
1999/2000 Event 1   Matt Wilson   Barry Hawkins 6–4
Event 2   Andrew Higginson   Scott MacKenzie 6–3
Event 3   Simon Bedford   Barry Hawkins 6–5
Event 4   Barry Hawkins   Craig Butler 6–1
Challenge Tour (non-ranking)
2000/2001 Event 1   Adrian Rosa   Surinder Gill 6–4
Event 2   Andrew Norman   Luke Fisher 6–3
Event 3   Shaun Murphy   Andrew Norman 6–3
Event 4   Shaun Murphy   Luke Simmonds 6–2
2001/2002 Event 1   James Reynolds   Steve Judd 6–5
Event 2   Leo Fernandez   Ryan Day 6–3
Event 3   Lee Spick   Joe Delaney 6–3
Event 4   David Gilbert   Ryan Day 6–3
2002/2003 Event 1   Chris Melling   Tom Ford 6–2
Event 2   Adrian Rosa   Stuart Mann 6–5
Event 3   Michael Rhodes   Luke Simmonds 6–5
Event 4   Kurt Maflin   James Leadbetter 6–2
2003/2004 Event 1   Stefan Mazrocis   Paul Davison 6–2
Event 2   Hugh Abernethy   Gary Wilson 6–0
Event 3   Brian Salmon   Steve James 6–1
Event 4   Gary Wilson   Jin Long 6–4
2004/2005 Event 1   Jamie Cope   Chris Norbury 6–2
Event 2   James Tatton   Matthew Barnes 6–4
Event 3   James McBain   Mark Allen 6–3
Event 4   Jamie Cope   Matthew Couch 6–0
Challenge Tour (amateur)
2018/2019 Event 1   Brandon Sargeant   Luke Simmonds 3–1
Event 2   David Grace   Mitchell Mann 3–0
Event 3   Barry Pinches   Jackson Page 3–2
Event 4   Mitchell Mann   Dylan Emery 3–0
Event 5   David Lilley   Brandon Sargeant 3–1
Event 6   David Grace   Ben Hancorn 3–0
Event 7   Joel Walker   Jenson Kendrick 3–0
Event 8   Simon Bedford   David Lilley 3–1
Event 9   Adam Duffy   Matthew Glasby 3–1
Event 10   George Pragnell   Callum Lloyd 3–2
2019/2020 Event 1   Ka Wai Cheung   Oliver Brown 3–1
Event 2   Jake Nicholson   Andrew Pagett 3–1
Event 3   Andrew Pagett   Robbie McGuigan 3–0
Event 4   Ashley Hugill   Aaron Hill 3–1
Event 5
Event 6   Oliver Brown   Ashley Hugill 3–1
Event 7   Dean Young   Andrew Pagett 3–1
Event 8   Lukas Kleckers   Tyler Rees 3–1
Event 9
Event 10
Tour Playoff

Order of Merit winnersEdit

[2]

Season Winner
UK Tour
1997/1998   Paul McPhillips
1998/1999   Alfie Burden
1999/2000   Barry Hawkins
Challenge Tour
2000/2001   Shaun Murphy
2001/2002   Ryan Day
2002/2003   Martin Gould
2003/2004   Brian Salmon
2004/2005   Jamie Cope
2018/2019   Brandon Sargeant
2019/2020

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "World Snooker Challenge Tour 2018/19". worldsnooker. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "WPBSA Secondary Professional Tour". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Hayton, Eric (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker. Suffolk: Rose Villa Publications. pp. Introduction, 166, 167 & 171–186. ISBN 978-0-9548549-0-4.
  4. ^ "2000 / 2001 Challenge Tour". fcsnooker. Preston, Lancashire: The Frank Callan Suite. 26 April 2002. Archived from the original on 2010-10-10. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  5. ^ Hendon, Dave (30 June 2009). "Pro Challenge Series Launched". Snooker Scene Blog. Snooker Scene. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  6. ^ Hendon, Dave (2 March 2010). "Pro Challenge Series Axed". Snooker Scene Blog. Snooker Scene. Retrieved 29 January 2012.