SNOOKER fans have the chance to see some of the game's biggest stars in action this week as the Scottish Open kicks off at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility.
The event, which is one stop on the Betfair European Tour, runs from Friday to Sunday and will see the top tartan talents take on the big names of snooker for a prize pot of £56,000.
With snooker booming around the world, Scotland has been given the chance to once again host a top tour tournament and Michael Gallacher, who is supporting World Snooker with the promotion of the event, said: "Given the amount of top players Scotland has produced over the years, the fact that we have not had an event here for a few years is disappointing.
"It is great that we have the Players' Tour Championship at Ravenscraig this week and I hope the Scottish fans get behind it and we can get more events in years to come.
"There are a lot more events on the calendar these days, and there are a lot of PTC events and Euro events, and that is why we have got one.
"If the event goes well and it is identified that there is a market in Scotland for professional snooker events then there is every chance that we will get one back on a regular basis."
With a winner's cheque for almost £10,000 at stake, plus crucial world ranking and PTC order of merit points up for grabs, a number of snooker's most famous players will be making the journey to Lanarkshire for the contest this week.
The event gives Scottish fans a rare chance to get close to the action and Gallacher hopes that the home talent on offer will give the crowd a good reason to celebrate.
He said: "If you look at the entry list, you have got John Higgins, a four-time world champion and still one of the best in the game, plus great Scottish players like Stephen Maguire, Graeme Dott, Allan McManus and you have got the likes of Shaun Murphy as well as Luca Brecel, who is currently one of the brightest young talents around.
"There are a lot of exciting players appearing and I think it is a great treat for Scottish snooker fans to be able to see that calibre of player in action.
"There are a number of tables to watch so you can pick and choose your matches and see who you want to see.
"It is great value for money and hopefully it is a big success."