World Cups capture the imagination of the public like few other events. Even the most casual football observer can be swept up in the excitement of a national team when the tournament only comes around once every four years.
Scottish Open Winners
The tale of Scottish Open snooker is a bit of a roller coaster, as it has been on and off the calendar for major snooker players over many years. Its reintroduction last year as a major ranking event on the main tour, however, has put it square on the map for both the top players in the game and for punters looking to make some money. With Marco Fu winning the event last year and another star-studded field set to arrive in Scotland for this year’s tournament, it is worth having a look at the previous winners of the event to see if we can find some decent options when thinking about our Scottish Open snooker betting.
Past and Famous Winners
The Scottish Open has actually only been played in Scotland since 1997 when it was under its former guise: The International Open. The event has been through a number of rebrandings but has generally gone under either the International Open or, as it is now, the Scottish Open. Before last year, it had gone through something of a hiatus, with only a single tournament (in 2012) played since 2004, but its relaunch as part of the new Home Nations Series has allowed it to take on a new lease of life as a major ranking tournament on the snooker calendar. You can read up on the full history of the tournament and more in our guide to the Scottish Open.
That long dormant period means it is hard to see many trends by looking at previous winners, although the long nature of a snooker player’s playing career means we can still find some finalists and winners from over a decade ago who are still in with a chance of winning the Scottish Open this year. Let’s have a look back at the previous finals, including during the time when it was called ‘The International Open’:
1981 - Steve Davis 9-0 Dennis Taylor
1996 - John Higgins 9-3 John Lawler
1982 - Tony Knowles 9-6 David Taylor
1997 - Stephen Hendry 9-1 Tony Drago
1983 - Steve Davis 9-4 Cliff Thorburn
1998 - Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-5 John Higgins
1984 - Steve Davis 9-2 Tony Knowles
1999 - Stephen Hendry 9-1 Graeme Dott
1985 - Cliff Thorburn 12-10 Jimmy White
2000 - Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-1 Mark Williams
1986 - Neal Foulds 12-9 Cliff Thorburn
2001 - Peter Ebdon 9-7 Ken Doherty
1987 - Steve Davis 12-5 Cliff Thorburn
2002 - Stephen Lee 9-2 David Gray
1988 - Steve Davis 12-6 Jimmy White
2003 - David Gray 9-7 Mark Selby
1989 - Steve Davis 9-4 Stephen Hendry
2004 - Jimmy White 9-7 Paul Hunter
1993 - Stephen Hendry 10-6 Steve Davis
2012 - Ding Junhui 4-2 Anthony McGill
1994 - John Parrot 9-5 James Wattana
2016 - Marco Fu 9-4 John Higgins
1995 - John Higgins 9-5 Steve Davis
There have been some big names to have been the winner of the Scottish Open, including Steve Davis, who is the most successful player in the history of the tournament with six wins. It’s worth noting, though, that those were all before the event moved to Scotland in 1997.
Since that year, we’ve seen a Scotsman in the final in 5 of the 10 tournaments held, including last year when John Higgins went into the final as favourite, only to find Marco Fu in sensational form. Other famous winners include Ronnie O’Sullivan, who will go into this year’s tournament as one of, if not the favourite for the event. Higgins himself is a two-time former winner and is still one of the best in the game. He will have extra motivation to go one better this year in front of his home crowd.
The only other Scottish Open past winners in the field will be the winners of the last two events, although Ding Junhui’s victory will mean a certain amount less, coming in the year when the tournament was a minor-ranking event. That field was much weaker than it will be this year, and he will need to perform better if he’s to have a chance this time around.
Who to Look Out For in the Scottish Open 2017
Ronnie O’Sullivan - ‘The Rocket’ is about as talented, but also temperamental, as they come in the game of snooker. A fan’s favourite, Rocket Ronnie can play some sensational snooker, but his odd moments of madness and frustration can leave you wondering ‘what if’. When O’Sullivan is on his game, no one can stop him. It remains to be seen if he’s on the ball for this tournament.
Judd Trump - Trump himself was a subject of controversy in his recent defeat in the Northern Ireland Open where he conceded the match-deciding frame by throwing his cue on the table in anger at his missed shot. Trump is another who is a fantastic shot-maker on his day but can be inconsistent and hard to predict.
Mark Selby - The world number one and the most consistent player on the tour. Selby is the likely second favourite behind O’Sullivan, but offers more predictability than the fiery Englishman. Selby rarely fails to produce and is one of the safer options amongst the favourites when placing your Scottish Open bets.
Ding Junhui - The Chinese sensation has sometimes failed to produce in the big events, but as a former winner of this title he will bring confidence to this event. His form this season has been unspectacular other than his win at the World Open, in his home country of China. Seems to struggle playing in Britain.
John Higgins - Last year’s runner-up and surely the most consistent name in the game, having been at the very top for what seems like an age. He brings confidence from winning this competition twice in the past, and the extra ambition that playing in front of a home crowd brings. One of the best safety players the sport has ever seen, Higgins is definitely up there with a strong chance.
Marco Fu - You can’t discount a former winner, and Fu’s performance in winning last year was surely one of the best in his career. The man from Hong Kong has struggled this season, but his experience from last year will give him a much-needed confidence boost.
Scottish Open Prize Background
Snooker is going through a renaissance in terms of its structure and its prize money, with the Scottish Open one of the beneficiaries. In its return year in 2016, there was a total prize pot of £360,000, with £70,000 going to the winner, and the same prize money is on offer this time around. That might not put it up there with the very biggest championships like the World Championship or UK Championship, but there is an extra incentive for players taking part in the ‘Home Nations’ series, featuring events in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. If a single player can bag all four titles, they will get a cool £1 million bonus.
With snooker being so competitive, it seems unlikely we’ll get a winner, but it is an added incentive for players to take part in all of the Home Nations events.
Scottish Open Betting Tips
Snooker is a hard sport to predict with different winners every week, and with the sport being so mentally draining, it can be hard for the top players to win week in, week out. The betting odds currently have the likes of O’Sullivan, Selby and Trump as favourites, but a major Scottish Open betting tip of ours would be to avoid the favourites, and not necessarily go for the guy who has won the most recent tournament. Sometimes having a bit of time off with an early exit can actually help a snooker player in an upcoming tournament, with the break giving them a chance to recharge their batteries.
John Higgins @ 12/1 - Higgins is the only player to have a form that is comparable to the world number one, Mark Selby, but he is double the price in the current markets. With plenty of extra motivation for Higgins, being that this tournament is in front of his home crowd, and with the burning desire to right the wrongs from last year’s final, John Higgins would be my main choice for the Scottish Open this year.
Anthony McGill @ 50/1 - McGill is another Scot who has been in fantastic form this year, surprising many with some great performances including three quarterfinals, two semi-finals and one final appearance in ranking events. Another who will benefit from playing in front of a home crown, McGill could be worth a speculative each way bet considering his form and his price.
Get Ready to Bet on the Scottish Open
It won’t be long now until the Scottish Open kicks off, with another great week of snooker action in store for us in Glasgow. The best players in the world are about to face off, so make sure you are ready to add to the excitement by placing your bets both before and during the tournament. There are loads of great snooker bookmakers out there, so our team has reviewed top snooker bookies in order to help you find the best Scottish Open bookmaker for you ahead of the big tournament, and you can take advantage of some great Scottish Open offers and promotions by using Top 10 Sports Betting Sites.