Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters: New tournament to offer £2m prize fund and become 'fourth major'

Ronnie O'Sullivan smiles after winning 2024 Masters Snooker at Alexandra Palace

A newly-created Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters will offer a £2m prize fund and become the sport's 'fourth major', the World Snooker Tour has announced.

The world's best players will travel to Riyadh at the end of August for the inaugural tournament.

The prize pot makes it the second-richest event on the schedule, behind only the World Championship.

It will be a ranking event open to all tour players, plus six local wildcards.

With a 10-year deal agreed, the first tournament will take place in the Saudi capital from 31 August to 7 September, with the World Snooker tour putting it in the same category as the triple crown of the World Championship, UK Championship and Masters.

This follows the Riyadh Season World Masters, a non-ranking event for the world's top eight, in which there will be an extra 20-point golden ball for players who complete a 147.

The deal will also see this year's World Pool Championship take place in Jeddah in June.

Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn said in a statement: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has forged a reputation for growth and creating new opportunities for sports to grow in a new market to new fans.

"The country has hosted some of the world's premier sporting events in recent years, welcoming visitors from all over to experience its passion for sport and unique culture.

"The addition of both the Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters and World Pool Championship over the next decade further enhances that as it heralds an exciting chapter for snooker and nine-ball pool.

"We have seen the incredible impact boxing has had in this region. Now, I believe we will see billiards cement its legacy here too, creating incredible opportunities and competition for the finest players on the planet."

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