O’Sullivan defends ‘too cheap’ maximum

O'Sullivan defends controversial finish

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O’Sullivan defends controversial finish

Ronnie O’Sullivan said he was “having a bit of fun” when he turned down the chance to make a 147 break because the £10,000 prize money was “too cheap”.

O’Sullivan potted 14 reds and 13 blacks before opting for an easier pink as he made a 146 to beat Barry Pinches 4-1 in the first round of the Welsh Open.

After beating Tian Pengfei 4-0 in round two, he said: “When you reach 40 and have played for 25 years you have to start enjoying it at some point.”

O’Sullivan beat Tian in 38 minutes.

The former world number one had breaks of 110, 90, 112 and 102 but had no opportunity to attempt a maximum.

O’Sullivan told BBC Wales: “Every time I go to the table I want to clean up.”

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn criticised O’Sullivan for not going for the 147 against Pinches, describing his actions as “unacceptable” and “disrespectful”.

O’Sullivan, who faces Jimmy Robertson from 19:00 GMT on Wednesday, said: “I was thinking when I woke up this morning it would have been wonderful to get a maximum and give the money to charity.

“If you had told the audience I would get a 146 and do that, they would have still gone out and bought tickets.

“If someone wants to do better, here’s my cue, chalk and waistcoat, go and do it.”

In other matches on Tuesday, defending champion John Higgins beat Sam Baird 4-0 to reach the third round.

World number one Mark Selby is also through, beating Peter Lines 4-2 in a match that finished after midnight.

Earlier, Shaun Murphy scraped home against fellow Englishman Mitchell Mann 4-3, while world number six Judd Trump was not at his best as he beat Rory McLeod 4-1.

Trump told BBC Wales: “Despite that final frame, Ronnie played terribly yesterday and scraped through, just as I did today. It’s about getting through when you play badly.”

World number eight Barry Hawkins came from behind to overcome fellow Englishman Robbie Williams 4-3 in a tight finish.

Neil Robertson had a comfortable 4-1 victory against England’s Stuart Carrington and Northern Ireland’s Martin Allen beat Finland’s Robin Hull in the deciding frame.

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