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Big break: NUI Galway secures snooker's Grand Finals for 2013

Ken Doherty and Mark Selby will join an elite field for the Players Tour Championship event.

World number one Mark Selby will compete in Galway next year.
World number one Mark Selby will compete in Galway next year.
Image: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

IRELAND HAS SECURED the staging of snooker’s Players Tour Championship Grand Finals in 2013.

The event, which carries a winner’s cheque of €123,000, will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway from March 12-17 next year.

The tournament, televised by Eurosport and viewed this year by 40m, 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 next January and after that the full line up of players will be announced.

Already sure to be among those 32 players are top stars including Ken Doherty, world number one and UK Champion Mark Selby, 
Judd Trump and four-time world champion John Higgins.

Also in the field will be last year’s runner-up Neil Robertson, China’s Ding Junhui and World Open champion from Mark Allen of County Antrim.

Thrilled, so I am

“The Bailey Allen Hall proved an excellent venue last year and there was a superb atmosphere in the arena,” said World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn.

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.

“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 Ken Doherty who no doubt will draw a lot of support.

Hearn added, “We have increased the prize money for the Grand Finals this year to €369,000, and the winner’s prize to €123,000.

“There are also world ranking points on offer so there’s plenty of incentive for the players.”

Stephen Lee beat Robertson 4-0 in the 2012 final.

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Patrick McCarry

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