Ronnie will not defend his Champion of Champions title

Ronnie has declined his Champion of Champions invite.

Here is what was published ob WSA site today:

Monday 12 Oct 2015 04:11PM
Ronnie O’Sullivan will not play in this year’s Champion of Champions after the two-time winner of the tournament, reprised in 2013, turned down his invitation to defend the title.

His place in Group 1 will be taken by the highest-ranked player on the World Rankings after the conclusion of the International Championship who has not already been seeded into a group.

O’Sullivan’s decision not to play in the Champion of Champions opens the door for Ruhr Open winner Rory McLeod, who will now be assured of an invite to play in the event. The winner of the International Championship will receive the final invite.

World Champion Stuart Bingham, the beaten finalist in the inaugural Champion of Champions in 2013, will play the opening match on Tuesday, November 10 against an unseeded player to be drawn into Group 3 once the field is complete.

Group 1 action takes place on Wednesday, November 11 where Joe Perry will be joined by the highest ranked player not already seeded after the International Championship.

Thursday, November 12 sees Neil Robertson and Crucible runner-up Shaun Murphy both in Group 4 action while World No.1 Mark Selby begins his Champion of Champions campaign on Friday, November 13 where he is joined in Group 2 by Barry Hawkins.

Each seeded player will play an unseeded opponent in a best-of-seven group match in the afternoon session with the two winners clashing over 11 frames in the evening.

The four group winners will proceed to the best-of-11 semi-finals on Saturday, November 14 before Sunday, November 15 sees a two-session final played over 19 frames.

Fifteen players have already received an invite to the 16-man tournament with the winner of the International Championship in Daqing, China to join the field.

Tickets for this year’s Champion of Champions are now on sale at The Ticket Factory from just £10. Standard priced tickets for the weekend sessions are now sold out, but in anticipation of extra seats being released a waiting list has been set up at http://www.championofchampionssnooker.co.uk/tickets/.

Champion of Champions features winners of tournaments in the preceding 12 months. Promoted by Matchroom Sport, this is the third year of snooker’s new showpiece event.

The tournament will start with a quartet of four-man groups, with the winner of each group progressing to the semi-finals. The final on Sunday November 15 will be over 19 frames.

Qualifying events take order of precedence with the 14 major tournaments on the World Snooker schedule in the first group of events. The second group comprises six Euro Tour events and the third group has three Asian Tour events. The final group is the three tournaments – Shoot Out, World Seniors and Six Reds – that fall outside the other three groups.

This comes as no surprise to me and I believe that the announcement made last week, written in such a way that many fans (and even fellow players) actually believed he had entered, has actually killed every possibility of a change of mind from Ronnie. He very simply hates to be used and didn’t want the fans to be mislead.

6 thoughts on “Ronnie will not defend his Champion of Champions title

    • And why should he? Because he’s a successful sportsperson doesn’t imply he’s not entitled privacy. He doesn’t owe us anything, you know.

      • I totally agree, I just don’t understand why it’s better to play on Legends Tour than on the main tour. But it’s his personal decision.

  1. I’d like to draw attention to this tweet by Snookerbacker:
    “I understand @ronnieo147 decision not to enter the Champion of Champions. He is doing what is right for him. He has given the game his all.”
    I think that’s very true and Ronnie’s decisions should be respected.
    For those who wouldn’t know Snookerbacker, he’s a blogger – his site is http://www.snookerbacker.com – and passionate about the game to the point he organises his own amateurs tournament, the Snookerbacker Classic. The winner and runner-up get their entries in the Q-school paid as part of their prize. The tournament runs for several years now and, this year, has got the support of Steve Davis and Sruart Bingham, our current World Champion.

  2. As a potential No. 1 fan and a avid customer of the Snooker Legends, CofC’s & Masters events I can only think, what a shame. Ronnie seems to have lost the desire to compete and seems to be announcing the fact tournament by tournament. I totally respect Ronnie and his decisions but can also appreciate how the fans want to see him compete in these events, knowing what a talent he is. I just pray the animosity towards him doesn’t affect his legacy and historical popularity.

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