Ronnie O’Sullivan produced a moment of magic during his Champion of Champions opener against Stuart Bingham.
An unfortunate kiss in the third frame left the Rocket snuggled up underneath a red, with the cue ball blocked from all other pottable balls on the table. It looked like the break would have to end, but O’Sullivan’s brain started to whir.
“Mark Selby has got to 700 [centuries, earlier in the tournament]. I’m afraid that kiss has probably denied his 1119th,” began Phil Yates on commentary.
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O’Sullivan took just seconds to make up his mind, aiming the cue ball towards the middle left pocket to generate the thinnest of cuts. The red started to roll towards the top right pocket, prompting cries of “get in” from the Bolton faithful.
Remarkably, it found the pocket. Bolton erupted.
“What a shot,” added Yates, before Neal Foulds declared it a “tremendous red”.
O’Sullivan was unable to convert it into the aforementioned 1119th career century, but it mattered little as he progressed with a 4-2 win.
He will face John Higgins or Ding Junhui in the Group 3 final later on Thursday, with Kyren Wilson, Judd Trump and Yan Bingtao awaiting in the semi-finals.
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