THE world’s eyes will be on Bendigo as the Australian Snooker Goldfields Open hits off in Bendigo.
Some of the most talented snooker players will descend on the city to compete for the prestigious title.
Millions of people from across the globe will watch every shot as the event is broadcast to several countries in Asia and Europe.
Play began on Monday with eager fans watching on as the snooker stars went head-to-head.
Event director Greg Hooton said the Goldfields Open, now in its fourth year, continued to grow each year.
He said players enjoyed travelling to central Victoria.
“The players have said at the start of play is that the conditions here in Bendigo are probably the best they have year round,” Hooton said.
“The beauty of the event is it’s not so much about the weather but it is the speed of the table and how the table works.
“Players enjoy coming here.”
Top ranked players competing this year include, Barry Hawkins, Judd Trump and Shaun Murphy.
Australia’s former world champion and current world number three Neil Robertson is also chasing his first championship on Australian soil.
“We probably have all but two of the top 10 competing and most of the top 40 in Bendigo as well,” Hooton said.
“From a talent point of view we have the best in the world here, which is great to see.”
Hooton encouraged the people of Bendigo to watch the best in action.
“Bendigo has a great number of people who play snooker here so it is a great opportunity to come and see the best in the world in your own backyard and admire their skill,” he said.
Hooton said snooker had a ‘phenomenal’ following across the world.
He said this event was important to Bendigo.
“It is hard enough to get events into regional centres so to find an event that can work in a regional centre and that can work for television audiences has been great,” Hooten said.
“The event is being beamed across the world and we are doing it from Bendigo.”
The Goldfields Open is being played at the Bendigo Stadium.
Games will be played across the week with the final to be played on Sunday.
Tickets can be purchased from the Bendigo Stadium website or from the door.
Tickets for Tuesday cost $25 for the 9am and 7pm sessions or $40 for both.
It is a great opportunity to come and see the best in the world in your own backyard and admire their skillGreg Hooton