The Welsh Open 2016 gets underway today in Cardiff and all 128 players play their first match on day 1. All matches are best of 7 up to, and including the last 16.
Ronnie made a good start in the Welsh Open 2016 as he beat Barry Pinches by 4-1 in the last 128.
It was far from obvious at the start of the match, as Ronnie looked bored and frustrated, especially in frame 3. In that frame in particular the balls ran very awkward, it was slow going and nothing seemed to work for him. Barry looked set to win it, but, crucially, failed to get position on the last red, when 31 up with 35 remaining. A weak safety from Barry, gave Ronnie a chance and he cleared to win with a couple of impressive shots. From then on, Ronnie gained fluency.
The last frame was very special: Ronnie was on a 147, but, after asking the referee about the 147 prize, he deliberately took the pink with the 14th red and
finished the match on a 146 … Naughty! He was all smiles for most of the break.
You can watch the 146 here:
In the press room a very relaxed Ronnie explained that 10K isn’t enough for the 147 as it is a massive achievement. Ronnie’s decision to turn down a maximum was received with mixed feelings by the fans, but one thing is certain, he got people talking, and snooker in the news … AGAIN.
Here are Ronnie’s quotes after the match (excerpt from Worldsnooker report)
“I like to entertain the fans, it’s like a film – you want them to come back and watch the next one,” said world number five O’Sullivan, who has already made a record 13 career maximums. “There’s no point giving them the best ending they could ever have, let’s just leave them for a better ending next time. When the prize (for a 147) gets a bit higher then I’ll go for it.
“That could have been a really long match today because Barry was taking his time between shots. With everything I’ve got on in the calendar I didn’t want to take too much out of myself by losing 4-3 in four hours. I thought if I am going to get beat, I want to get beat in an hour and a quarter or win in an hour and a quarter. So I just went for my shots and it turned out well.”
Enjoy these few pictures thanks to my good friend Tai Chengzhe
For those who missed the match, or want to watch it again, here: