Ronnie O’Sullivan pulls out of Championship League midway through group

Ronnie O’Sullivan has decided not to come back for another day in Leicester (Picture: PA)

Ronnie O’Sullivan will not return for the second day of his Championship League group, withdrawing after playing three of his scheduled six matches.

The world number one played in Group Seven of the competition on Wednesday in Leicester, beating Sam Craigie and Elliot Slessor in his first two matches, both by the same 3-2 scoreline.

His third match saw him lose 3-0 to Jak Jones, but he remained on course to qualify for the group semi-finals despite that loss.

However, tournament organisers confirmed on Wednesday evening that the Rocket has withdrawn and the group will be played to a conclusion on Thursday with the six remaining players.

Jordan Brown, Joe O’Connor and Pang Junxu are the other three players in the group and the six men will battle it out for a place in the Winners’ Group.

It is the last chance to make it into that Winners’ Group, set to be held on 12-13 March, with Stuart Bingham, Chris Wakelin, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, John Higgins and Kyren Wilson already booking their spots.

Next up for O’Sullivan is a trip to Saudi Arabia for the big-money invitational event, the World Masters of Snooker in Riyadh, starting on Monday.

The top eight players in the world – O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Allen, Mark Selby, Luca Brecel, Shaun Murphy, Ali Carter and Mark Williams – are joined by two wildcards: Saudi Arabia’s Omar Alajlani and Qatar’s Ali Alobaidli.

£250,000 will be on offer for the winner, while the tournament will also feature the new golden ball, which will make a new 167 break possible.

The ball will be on the table from the start of frames, but only be able to be potted after a 147 break is made, worth 20 points making it a 167.

Once a 147 is not available to be made during a frame the gold ball will be removed from the table.


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