The Australian Goldfields Open is a professional ranking snooker tournament, which was founded in 1979 after Australia hosted the 1971 and 1975 World Snooker Championships.
South African Perrie Mans was the first player to lift trophy of the Australian Masters, the tournaments previous name.
The non-ranking tournament continued under this name until 1987, Stephen Hendry was the last to win the trophy under the name of the Australian Masters.
In 1989 a sponsorship complication arose during an attempt to turn the event into a ranking tournament and the competition changed names to the Hong Kong Open, becoming the first ranking tournament to be staged in Asia.
The Hong Kong event was discontinued after only one year, however it returned to Australia in 1994 as the Australian Open. The event changed name again the following year back to the Australian Masters but was once again dropped from the calendar after the event.
In 2011 the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association resurrected the event under the new name of the Australian Goldfields Open and introduced it to the 2011-12 calendar.
The matches now compete at Bendigo Stadium in the City of Bendigo, Victoria. The format for this tournament is ranked; meaning the qualification and seeding are determined on previous results.
Goldfields has been spoiled with talented players since it’s launch in 1970 including snooker greats Steve Davis, John Virgo, Tony Meo, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins and Mark Williams.
The previous winners consist of:
Australian Masters (non-ranking)
- 1979 – Perrie Mans
- 1980 – John Spencer
- 1981 – Tony Meo
- 1982 – Steve Davis
- 1983 – Cliff Thorburn
- 1984 – Tony Knowles
- 1985 – Tony Meo
- 1986 – Dennis Taylor
- 1987 – Stephen Hendry
Hong Kong Open (ranking)
- 1989 – Mike Hallet
Australian Open (non ranking)
- 1994 – John Higgins
Australian Masters (non ranking)
- 1995 – Anthony Hamilton
Australian Goldfields Open (ranking)
- 2011 – Stuart Bingham
- 2012 – Barry Hawkins
On course to winning the Australian Gold Fields Open, Stuart Bingham recorded victories over Ding Junhui, Tom Ford, Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy to set up what would be a historic match between Mark Williams and Bingham.
Stuart Bingham won his first ever ranking tournament as he clinched the Australian Snooker Goldfields Open with a dramatic 9-8 victory over World Number one Mark Williams.
Williams looked set to win the 19th ranking event of his career as he led 7-4 and 8-5 but Bingham made a stunning recovery to win the last four games and take the title.
Stuart Bingham would later win the Annual Snooker award of Performance of the Year for this performance in 2011.
Barry Hawkins took the crown from Bingham in 2012, defeating veteran Peter Ebdon in the 9-3 in the final. Like Bingham before him, this would be Hawkins’ first ranking event win and proved to be the catalyst for The Hawk’s super 2012/13 season.