O’Sullivan ‘the Tiger Woods of snooker’

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan is a five-time world champion

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s talent makes him snooker’s answer to golfer Tiger Woods, according to Ryan Day.

O’Sullivan will compete alongside Day at the World Grand Prix in Llandudno, which starts on Tuesday.

The five-time world champion, 40, rescheduled an exhibition match in Morocco to play in north Wales after qualifying by winning the Welsh Open.

“I think he’s the Tiger Woods of snooker,” Day said. “He’s the biggest draw and brings in more spectators.”

O’Sullivan, who lost 10-7 to Judd Trump in last year’s inaugural final, faces Michael Holt in round one on Tuesday.

“In every tournament I prefer to see Ronnie in the draw,” Day said. “It brings something special to the event.”

Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all-time, having won 14 majors, while O’Sullivan has been described by former world snooker champion Dennis Taylor as “the most naturally gifted player we have ever had in the game”.

Day, 35, from Pontycymer, near Bridgend, is keen to do well at the World Grand Prix, given its added significance as a ranking event for the first time this year.

The Welshman is among 32 of the world’s leading players who will be competing for ranking points as well as a first prize of £100,000.

Day, ranked 23rd in the world, had to win three qualifying matches to guarantee a place in the first round of last year’s World Championship.

He wants to climb into the top 16 before this year’s World Championship, which starts on 16 April.

“It’s going to be a very difficult event but it’s just a good opportunity to get more ranking points,” Day said.

“The goal going towards the end of the season is to get into the 16 so you avoid the turmoil of having to qualify for the World Championship.”

Day will be the first of four Welsh players in action at Venue Cymru when he faces Matthew Selt in round one on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT. The three other Welshmen all play their first round matches on Wednesday.

Wales’s highest-ranked player, world number 14 Mark Williams, will take on defending champion Judd Trump on Wednesday at 14:00 GMT.

Michael White faces 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy and Jamie Jones will play against Kyren Wilson. White and Jones’s matches are both scheduled for 20:00 GMT.

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