The Home Nations Series is a quartet of snooker events staged in the four countries of the United Kingdom.
The four tournaments that make up the Home Nations Series are the English Open, Northern Ireland Open, Scottish Open and Welsh Open.
The events were first grouped together in the 2016-17 snooker season and World Snooker announced that if any player was to win all four events in the same campaign they would receive a £1 million bonus.
That’s a tricky task, given the opening rounds of these events are held over the best-of-seven-frame format and it takes seven matches to win each tournament, but the carrot was there should any cueman manage that impressive feat.
History and Location of the Events
The Welsh and Scottish Open were long-standing events on the snooker calendar.
The Welsh Open is a prestigious tournament and has run continually since its inception in 1992. The first staging of the ranking competition was held in Newport, and after a spell away in Cardiff, the tournament returned home last year.
Outside the Triple Crown events of the Masters, UK Championship and World Championship, the Welsh Open has always been considered one of the premier ranking events.
The Scottish Open, as we know it, started life in 1998. Ronnie O’Sullivan claimed the first of his two Scottish titles when beating John Higgins 9-5 in the Aberdeen final.
The tournament stayed in the Granite City until it switched to Glasgow in 2003. The event then became part of the Players Championship series in 2004, but it was not held again until 2012.
Another break for the tournament followed, before it was revamped and added to the Home Nations series in 2016.
The English and Northern Ireland Open were both created and added to the calendar as part of the launch of the Home Nations series.
The English event has been held in various locations, but the Northern Ireland competition found a welcoming home in Belfast. The Waterfront Hall, located on the banks of the River Lagan, has proved an excellent venue and the Belfast fans provide one of the best atmospheres in snooker.
Past Home Nations Winners
Mark Allen provided a pair of memorable moments when claiming back-to-back Northern Ireland titles in front of his home crowd. The Antrim ace collected his first Belfast crown in 2021 and successfully defended his trophy a year later.
Judd Trump has won the event three times, while Mark Williams has also lifted the Alex Higgins trophy.
The very first staging of the event was one that Mark King will never forget. The Romford man turned professional in 1991 and here recorded his first ranking tournament victory when claiming the Northern Ireland Open crown in 2016.
No player has won the English Open on more than one occasion. O’Sullivan, Stuart Bingham, Trump, Mark Selby, Liang Wenbo, Neil Robertson are previous winners of the Steve Davis trophy.
Since its inception into the Home Nations series in 2016, Selby has lifted two Scottish Open titles.
John Higgins has twice made the final of the event, but the Scottish fans have been denied a home, with Luca Brecel and Marco Fu lifting the Stephen Hendry trophy.
Higgins has claimed an impressive five Welsh Open titles, with O’Sullivan not far behind on four.
Joe Perry will be fondly remembered after defeating Judd Trump in the 2022 final and interestingly Mark Williams is the only Welshman to have lifted the Ray Reardon trophy.