Super O’Sullivan proves the Master

PUBLISHED: 09:05 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:05 18 January 2016

Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates after winning the Dafabet Masters 2016 at Alexandra Palace (pic: Adam Davy/PA)

Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates after winning the Dafabet Masters 2016 at Alexandra Palace (pic: Adam Davy/PA)

PA/Press Association Images

Rocket romps to sixth title

Ronnie O’Sullivan believes he is living in snooker’s golden era for the golden oldies after cruising to a record-equalling sixth Masters title last night.

The Chigwell cueman battered an outmatched Barry Hawkins 10-1 at London’s Alexandra Palace, meaning only he and the legendary Stephen Hendry have now lifted the Masters trophy on six occasions.

It was the most one-sided Masters final since the showpiece switched to the best-of-19 format in 1996 and O’Sullivan made one century break and six further half-centuries as he wrapped up victory before 8pm.

At 40 years old, O’Sullivan is now the second-oldest winner of the event – behind only Ray Reardon who was 43 when he won in 1976 – but with other experienced players still going strong, he is adamant that is just a sign of the times.

“It seems like a lot of the older players are doing well now – John [Higgins] is still playing well and Mark Williams is punching good. The likes of Hawkins and Bingham are there as well,” said O’Sullivan.

“It seems like this era of players have got such a good game that we’re still able to compete with some of the youngsters coming through. Hopefully there will be a few more 40-year-olds winning tournaments.

“We’re like the OAPs of the sport, so it’s great to still be competing. Me and John [Higgins] should be playing on the seniors, but we’re still winning major events! It just goes to show that times are changing for snooker.”

Hawkins actually got off to the perfect start on Sunday afternoon as he pinched the opening frame of the match, only to see O’Sullivan become the first man in history to reel off 10 consecutive frames in a Masters final.

And after making his return to the big stage after an eight-month sabbatical, O’Sullivan claims he was slightly shocked to be so successful.

“I am never normally surprised to win tournaments, but to get this one I am a little, the first big one back after eight months,” he added.

“But I still think if I can produce some form it doesn’t matter how long I take out, you have that talent and game if you can produce it.

“I’m level with Stephen [Hendry] in this now – it’s unbelievable really. This is just a week, so getting two more world titles in Sheffield over 17 days will be tougher.

“I am over the moon with the performance, delighted. I knew I needed to raise my level and play like I did against Mark Selby.”

*Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing all major ranking events including the Masters, World Championship and the exclusive “Ronnie O’Sullivan Show”.

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