Ronnie O’Sullivan’s incredible season continued in the last 64 of the China Open on Tuesday after the Englishman constructed a wonderful 147 break in Beijing.
O’Sullivan, who has won a record-equalling five ranking event titles this season already, made the maximum effort in the fifth frame of his encounter with countryman Elliot Slessor.
The “Rocket” actually appeared to be out of sorts in the first round fixture and found himself 4-0 down to Slessor at the mid-session interval.
However, O’Sullivan regained his fluency upon the restart and, despite running out of position on a couple of occasions, the perfect break was hardly in doubt.
As long as the tally isn’t matched this week, the 42 year-old will collect a handy £35,000 bonus from the rolling 147 purse on the circuit and an additional £7,000 for the highest break jackpot.
The only unfortunate caveat is that it means the 147 prize will revert back to £5,000 for the next tournament, the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, just as it was twelve months ago when Judd Trump mirrored the feat in the Far East.
Still, it’s hard to get too hung up on what remains a wonderful achievement in the sport even though the break occurs more regularly these days.
O’Sullivan’s latest knock extends his record to 14 maximums – three more than Stephen Hendry in second place in the all-time list – and it’s his first since his 147 in the UK Championship in 2014.
The impressive break only wins a single frame, though, and Slessor, who beat O’Sullivan in the Northern Ireland Open earlier this season, ended up winning 6-2 to progress to the last 32.
Defending champion Mark Selby advanced earlier on day two thanks to a hard-fought win over Scott Donaldson.