Phil Haigh ✍️
Judd Trump feels the one thing that the Tour Championship is missing is a big crowd and a rowdier atmosphere, which he reckons Llandudno fails to deliver.
The eight-man event has fast become one of the best on the snooker calendar since its arrival in 2019, with Stephen Hendry suggesting it has become the ‘fourth major’ after the big three of the World Championship, Masters and UK Championship.
The top eight on the one-year ranking list qualify for the tournament, meaning it is top players in good form and, crucially, all matches are played over a best-of-19 frames. A long distance seen all too rarely over the season elsewhere.
Trump is a big fan of the format, scheduling, healthy prize fund and everything about the Tour Championship except the atmosphere that is created at Venue Cymru in Llandudno.
The coastal town in north Wales tends to attract something of an older crowd and Trump would like to see it moved to a big city and try to replicate the immense atmosphere on show at Alexandra Palace where the Masters is held.
‘Everyone prefers the longer matches and at the Tour Champs we have them right from the start,’ Trump told The Sportsman.
‘And if it was in a big city, maybe a different venue and place, it would seem even bigger. It feels like with its status it deserves to be in London or a big city.
‘It would be an ideal one to replicate what we now have at the Masters with those huge 2,000 crowds and the quality guaranteed, with the eight best players this season.
‘The atmosphere is maybe the only thing not quite right, because all the other elements are there. Every game is like a final.
‘It just feels a little bit lost in Llandudno, and maybe they need to try a new venue. I don’t think they would struggle with ticket sales in any major city.’
The Tour Championship has already had three venues in its four-year history, with Covid causing moves to Milton Keynes and Newport before a return to Llandudno this year, where it was first held in 2019.
Trump will be hoping to create a memorable atmosphere when he takes on Luca Brecel in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
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