Ronnie O’Sullivan compares himself to Tiger Woods after message from ‘snooker gods’
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Ronnie O’Sullivan has credited the “snooker gods” and his army of loyal fans with helping him to make even more history by winning the World Grand Prix. The Rocket won the competition for the second time with victory over Neil Robertson in Coventry in Sunday’s final.
Earlier in the week, he had suggested that the game’s younger stars were taking over and would become dominant in the years to come.
While that may prove to be true in time, it was one of the most prominent members of the old guard who came out on top at the World Grand Prix.
O’Sullivan was trailing 7-5 to Robertson, but won five of the final six frames to add another trophy to his already vast collection.
In doing so, he ended a streak of five consecutive finals without a win and extended his record of most ranking titles won to 38, at the age of 46.
The win came 28 years and 21 days after he secured his first ranking title in 1993.
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He was helped in doing so by his fans, whose support encouraged him to play for two snookers in the eighth frame.
He got them and won to level the scores at 4-4 – the outcome of the match might have been very different had he chosen to concede instead.
When speaking about the satisfaction he felt at getting the win while not at his best, O’Sullivan compared himself to Tiger Woods by talking about the “magic” he sometimes benefits from while playing.
“In a run of good frames like I had at the end you are in almost a different realm, and into the zone but you never know when the magic is going to happen,” he said.
“Luckily the snooker gods always seem to shine brightly on me and so I try and keep the faith, and no matter what happens those gods will do what’s right for snooker.
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“Then when I get going and build some momentum as I did at the end, that’s the snooker gods saying ‘Come on, this is your chance, it’s up to you now, let’s see what you can do’.
“And that was the payback in this final for hanging on and clinging on earlier in the match, just hoping that at some point I clicked. Then it’s bang, bang, bang, see you later, let’s get out of here.
“The magic that I used to have a lot more of, and that I felt in those last frames against Neil, is unbelievable.
“That is why I play and if I am not getting enough of that I struggle. It is a gift winning tournaments not at your best. Mark Selby has it in snooker, Tiger Woods had it in golf.
“Certain sportspeople get the job done even when I am not at my best, and that is probably why I have won as much as I have. I have won titles playing some dismal stuff.
“Champions don’t just pot balls and play decent safety – they have character, bottle, tenacity, determination, and even the X-Factor.
“I might not have the best cue action, or be the best at a lot of things – but I am pretty good at getting the job done.
“In that last frame of the afternoon when I needed two snookers, I have an amazing fan base and if the crowd hadn’t been there I might just have conceded.
“I was the underdog for that final and it was nice to be in that situation. I know a lot of people were writing me off and didn’t think I had a chance. Rightly so, my form had not been great.
“But I can still play sometimes plus in this final I had to fight, dig in, get two snookers in one frame, and keep my temperament. When I found my form, I was dangerous.”
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