Snooker - PTC Grand Finals to return to Galway

Snooker’s Players Tour Championship Grand Finals will return to the city of Galway in Ireland in March, with many of the sport’s most famous names to compete for the £100,000 top prize.

The tournament was staged at the Bailey Allen Hall, at the National University of Ireland, for the first time last year and it returns to the same venue from March 12-17. It will be televised extensively by Eurosport.

The Grand Finals is the culmination of a series of 13 events on the Players Tour Championship this season, staged around the UK, Europe and Asia.

The top 25 players from the Order of Merit plus seven from the Asian Order of Merit will go through to Galway to battle for the world ranking title.

The last of these events will be held in Munich, Germany, from January 4-6, and after that the full line up of players will be announced.

Already sure to be among those 32 players are top stars including world number one and UK champion Mark Selby, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Ireland’s own former world champion Ken Doherty.

A spokesman for World Snooker said: “We are thrilled to be heading back to Galway for this prestigious tournament. The Bailey Allen Hall proved an excellent venue last year and there was a superb atmosphere in the arena.

“The people in Galway and the surrounding area obviously love snooker, there was even a petition among the NUI students to bring the sport back to the city. So it’s great to return and we’re sure the tournament will be well supported.

“The line-up of players is the best there has been for the PTC Grand Finals with so many of the top names in the field, including Darling of Dublin Ken Doherty who no doubt will draw a lot of support.

“The PTC series has taken the players all over the world this season, to countries including China, Poland, Bulgaria, Belgium and Germany. Now all eyes will be on Galway for the thrilling conclusion.

“We have increased the prize money for the Grand Finals this year to £300,000, and the winner’s prize to £100,000, and there are also world ranking points on offer so there’s plenty of incentive for the players. It’s an event not to be missed!”

Shea McNelis from promoter T.H.E Agency added: “We are delighted to be partners again for the PTC Grand Finals and to have this event back in Ireland. The city of Galway really embraced the event last year.”