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Major European Tournaments
European Open

German Open       German Masters     Irish Open
World Ranking and Invitation Events

Brief History of the Major European Events
Although the world championship had twice been held in Australia, prior to the 1988/89 season no ranking events had been staged outside the U.K. There had been successful invitation events in Canada and Australia for a number of years and Barry Hearn and his Matchroom team had set up events in both Europe and the Far East. The WPBSA therefore decided to extend the tour to include some overseas events and the first two chosen were Canada and Europe.
Due to logistical problems, only the last 32 normally travel to overseas events with the early rounds being played in the UK but on this occasion the last 64 qualifiers for the first European Open, to be sponsored by ICI, all travelled to Deauville in France at the end of January. Alain Robidoux had already made the event’s first maximum in the opening round at Blackpool.  A number of players, including Steve Davis, pulled out of the event but John Parrott took the £40,000.
The event remained in France in 1990 but moved to Lyons and then to Rotterdam on Holland in 1991 when both finalists, Tony Jones (36th) and Mark Johnston-Allen (60th) came from outside the top 32 with Tony gaining his only major victory. The next four events were held in Belgium, first in Tongeren and then three in Antwerp with sponsorship from Humo. For the 1993/4 season it moved to the early part of the season so there were two events in 1993, in February and December.
It returned to its Spring spot in the calendar for the 1995/96 season and was held in Malta for the first time where John Parrott showed his liking for the event by winning for the third time and he was in the final again next time round, still in Malta, but lost to John Higgins.
It is at this point that the history of the event becomes somewhat confusing. In the 1995/96 season, the December place in the calendar, which the European Open previously occupied, went to the German Open which ran for three seasons in Frankfurt, Osnabruck and Bingen. Although that was the last German Open as a ranking event, the German Masters invitation event was held, at Bingen again, for the following season only with John Parrott winning yet another title on the continent. The German Open should not be confused with the pro-am of that name, subsequently renamed Paul Hunter Classic which has been staged in Fürth and is listed under Fürth German Open/Paul Hunter Classic. The German Masters was revived in 2010/11 as a full ranking event.
In 1998 the ‘European’ spot went to Dublin and the event was named the Irish Open but sadly the event was not a success and it was some time before another ranking event would be held there.
In 1999 the Malta Grand Prix, hitherto a successful invitation event, became the European ranking event for that season, retaining its name and sponsorship. However the following season that event returned to being invitation only and there was no ranking event on the continent. 
A ranking event returned to Europe in 2001/ 02. Valletta, in Malta, was again the venue but the original name of European Open was revived. Stephen Hendry beat Joe Perry 9-2, the latter making his first appearance in a ranking final. For 2002/03, the event was held in Britain for the first time, at the Palace Hotel in Torquay in March. In 2004 it returned to what had become its regular home, Malta. The following season it was re-branded as the Malta Cup. Details of the Malta events are shown on a separate page.
©Chris Turner 2008

Roll Of Honour

European Open             Ranking Event                

Season Venue Sponsor Winner
Runner Up Score 1st Prize
1988/9 Deauville, France ICI John Parrott Terry Griffiths 9-8 £40,000
1989/90 Palais de Sport, Lyon, France none John Parrott Stephen Hendry 10-6 £40,000
1990/1 Imax Centre, Rotterdam, Holland Tulip Tony Jones Mark Johnston-Allen 9-7 £35,000
1991/2 Tongeren, Belgium none Jimmy White Mark Johnston-Allen 9-3 £25,000
1992/3 Matchroon Schijnpoort, Antwerp, Belgium Humo Steve Davis Stephen Hendry 10-4 £25,000
1993/4 Arenahal, Atwerp, Belgium Humo Stephen Hendry Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-5 £27,000
1994/5 Het Rool Stadium, Antwerp, Belgium Humo Stephen Hendry John Parrott 9-3 £60,000
1995/6 Republic Hall, Valetta, Malta none John Parrott Peter Ebdon 9-7 £60,000
1996/7 Mediterranean Centre, Valetta, Malta none John Higgins John Parrott 9-5 £60,000
2001/2 Mediterranean Centre, Valetta, Malta none Stephen Hendry Joe Perry 9-2 £44,000
2002/3 Palace Hotel, Torquay, England none Ronnie O'Sullivan Stephen Hendry 9-6 £44,000
2003/4 Hilton Conference Centre, Portomaso, Malta none Stephen Maguire Jimmy White 9-3 £48,000

Maximum Breaks - European Open
Qualifying Rounds
Alain Robidoux 1988/9 Qual Rd 1 v Jim Meadowcroft

German Open         Ranking Event
Season Venue sponsor Winner
Runner Up Score 1st Prize
1995/6 Messe, Frankfurt none John Higgins Ken Doherty 9-3 £40,000
1996/7 British Army Base, Osnabrück none Ronnie O'Sullivan Alain Robidoux 9-7 £40,000
1997/8 Atlantis Rheinhotel, Bingen none John Higgins John Parrott 9-4 £50,000

German Masters          Ranking
Event from 2010/11
Season Venue sponsor Winner
Runner Up Score 1st Prize
1998/9 Atlantis Rheinhotel, Bingen none John Parrott Mark J. Williams 6-5 £25,000
2010/11 Tempodrom, Berlin none Mark J. Williams Mark Selby 9-7 €50,000

Irish Open                    Ranking Event
Season Venue sponsor Winner
Runner Up Score 1st Prize
1998/9 Tallaght, Dublin none Mark J. Williams Alan McManus 9-4 250,000

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