• Welsh Open

Stylish 147 seals title for O'Sullivan

ESPN staff
March 2, 2014
Ronnie O'Sullivan will move into third place in the all-time ranking events winners' list © Getty Images

Ronnie O'Sullivan rolled home a stylish maximum break to seal a 9-3 victory over Ding Junhui in the Welsh Open final.

World champion O'Sullivan's 147 included a stroke of genius on the final red - a left-hander into the right-hand pocket at the baulk end screwed back to land perfectly on the black.

It is O'Sullivan's 26th ranking event victory - moving the 38-year-old into third place on the list of all-time winners, two behind Steve Davis on 28 and 10 behind Stephen Hendry, who has 36.

After picking up his cheque for £60,000, O'Sullivan said: "At about 48 I looked at the scoreboard and realised the 147 was on - but I was keen to just make sure I won the match.

"But once I got to around 60 or 70, the balls were perfect so I went for it.

"It's always nice to win, but I have to congratulate Ding. He's won four ranking events already this season and if he had won tonight he would have equalled Stephen Hendry's record [of five wins in a single campaign].

"When I start slowing down, I hope he dominates the game because he's a fantastic talent. No one can beat him, so enjoy it."

In typically dry fashion, Ding added with a smile: "It was a nice 147."

In the first session, O'Sullivan took the first three frames, including breaks of 91 and 70, before Ding put himself on the scoreboard.

But O'Sullivan shifted through the gears with a potting masterclass to move six frames clear at the interval and effectively end Ding's chances of winning a record-equalling fifth ranking title of the season.

Ding pulled two back after the break, but it was too little too late for the 26-year-old.

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