Ronnie O’Sullivan is through to the quarter-finals of this week’s World Grand Prix but a place in the Snooker Shootout draw looks to be on the cards for the 44 year-old as well.
After his 4-3 victory over Liang Wenbo on Wednesday, O’Sullivan was interviewed by the World Snooker Tour in Cheltenham and it was revealed that the 44 year-old had entered this year’s edition of the Snooker Shootout in Watford.
Considering the “Rocket” opted out of competing in the prestigious Masters last month, his possible participation at the Colosseum later in February may come as a little bit of a surprise.
However, O’Sullivan did suggest twelve months ago when he was on punditry duties for Eurosport that he regretted not taking part.
Since its inception in 2011, O’Sullivan has only competed twice in the tournament, with his last appearance occurring in 2015.
The Snooker Shootout is the most controversial competition on the calendar but it has just as many fans as it does naysayers.
With matches that comprise just a single frame, alterations to the traditional rule book, and a boisterous crowd that are encouraged to be rowdy, the Shootout is truly like no other.
In 2017, it was upgraded to a ranking event for the first time and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is the reigning champion.
Usually boasting a smaller prize fund than several of the other tournaments, many of the stars of the game have generally opted to skip proceedings in recent years.
Yet, with this year’s Snooker Shootout incorporated into the new European Series, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson have also recently expressed their potential interest in entering.
A £150,000 bonus is being rewarded to the player who performs the best in the European Series – four tournaments consisting of the European Masters, German Masters, Shootout, and Gibraltar Open.
Robertson captured the first trophy before Trump triumphed at the Australian’s expense in Berlin last weekend.
Whether or not the pair will feature in Watford remains to be seen as the official draw hasn’t been announced yet.
Still, with crowd-pleaser O’Sullivan in action there will automatically be a sharp increase in interest when the event gets under way in a fortnight.
Liang’s ‘yips’ may have rubbed off on O’Sullivan as he was lucky to make it through a twitchy decider.
Although he still feels a little rusty, he was supreme when in among the balls, making three tons 💯
🚨Watford, beware… Prepare for a rocket landing 🚀👀 pic.twitter.com/wHzMeiWNZA
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) February 5, 2020