Ronnie O’Sullivan is renowned for the performances he is able to bring to the snooker table time and time again. One of the most memorable moments from his illustrious career, so far, came back in 2014.
O’Sullivan, who was 38 years old at the time, made a record 12th competitive 147 break which saw him defeat Ding Junhui 9-3 in the final of the Welsh Open.
Having led 7-1 following a very one-sided opening session, it had looked like Ding may be able to close the gap after hitting consecutive centuries, but O’Sullivan showed his true class when he rounded off the match with a maximum.
The crowd were in awe as he completed the shot, not only because of the true greatness on display, but because he played into the crowd and switched to his left hand to sink the final black.
When asked about his change of hands, by BBC Wales, he said: “I’ve made 11 (maximums) right-handed … that counts as a left-handed 147 because, if I missed that, it wouldn’t have counted!”
O’Sullivan hadn’t necessarily considered a 12th competitive 147 when he walked into the match as he explained:
“I think it was on about 48 when I went into the reds, they split nicely, and I looked at the scoreboard and saw it was all blacks. I thought, ‘No, just get the match won,’ but on about 60 or 70 I thought, ‘I’ve got to go for it.”
At the time, the win saw him add the ranking title to his continuous season’s haul of the Masters, Champion of Champions, and the Paul Hunter Classic.
Ever the professional sportsman, O’Sullivan took time to pay tribute to his beaten opponent and tipped him for many more tournament wins in the future.
He said: “I want to congratulate Ding. He’s won four this season and, if he’d won this, he would have equalled Hendry’s record.
He’s got three or four more events to go, and I still fancy he’ll do it. I hope when I slow down, he can win plenty more. You should enjoy him. He’s very special.”
Nearly a decade on and the shot is still one that is fondly remembered by fans worldwide with many more being added to his legacy since.