The Northern Ireland Open is the second-leg of Snooker’s 2017 Home Series, in which any player winning the English Open, Northern Ireland Open, Scotland Open and Wales Open wins a £1 Million Bonus.
128 of the top professionals will be heading to Belfast this week for a tournament that takes place between November 20-26. However, whilst last year’s event was played at the Titanic Exhibition, this year’s event is being hosted by the Belfast Waterfront.
The 2016 renewal was won by Mark King, who held his nerve to defeat Barry Hawkins 9-8 in the final of what is affectionately referred to as the Alex Higgins Trophy. King’s efforts were to be commended too, as he defeated quite a strong line-up that included the likes of home favourite Mark Allen, as well as John Higgins, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Shaun Murphy.
2017 Northern Ireland Snooker Open Betting Guide
Ronnie O’Sullivan 7/2, Judd Trump 6/1, John Higgins 10/1, Shaun Murphy 16/1, Neil Robertson 16/1, Mark Allen 20/1, Barry Hawkins 28/1, Mark Williams 33/1, Mark King 200/1
2017 Northern Ireland Snooker Open Draw
The top-half of the draw looks by far the easier of the two halves, with defending champion Mark King in game-1, whilst others to note are Ryan Day, Ricky Walden, Neil Robertson, Mark Allen and Luca Brecel. However, the biggest name to note could be Sean Murphy, who again looks to be favoured by the draw, as he was when doing us a favour at a big-price two-weeks ago.
Meanwhile, the bottom-half of the draw again looks to be a minefield, as John Higgins and Judd Trump find themselves drawn in the same half of the draw as Ronnie O’Sullivan
2017 Northern Ireland Summary
Lat year’s Home Nations events were won by Liang Wenbo (English Open), Marco Fu (Scotland Open), Mark King and Stuart Bingham (Wales Open), showing just how much talent there is in World Snooker at the moment, and suggesting that it will surely be impossible for any player to win all four Home Counties events in one season.
However, as Ronnie O’Sullivan is the player who got his name of the English Open Trophy this season – The Rocket is sure to be highly-motivated to be the first, and perhaps the only player, to ever win all four events. He also comes into the event in fantastic form after winning last week, destroying John Higgins and Judd Trump in the semi-finals and final – and he’ll surely be going in all guns blazing this week as a victory would leave him halfway to that £1 Million Bonus.
I can’t resist a second bet on Shaun Murphy though as, not only does he look favourably drawn, but he also beat O’Sullivan two-weeks ago, and the two could easily battle out another final here.
2017 Northern Ireland Open Snooker Tips
Ronnie O’Sullivan @ 3/1 Bet365, Betfair, PaddyPower, BetVictor, SkyBet
Shaun Murphy @ 14/1 Bet365, Betfair, Coral, Ladbrokes, PaddyPower, BetVictor