WELSH Open champion Ronnie O’Sullivan admitted taking the maximum break record off his former rival Stephen Hendry was in his mind during his match-clinching 147 against Ding Junhui.
The reigning world champion clinched the title in brilliant fashion hitting a superb 147, his 12th of his career, and in doing so broke the record of 11 once held by seven-times world champion Hendry.
O’Sullivan and Hendry battled it out in many of the top events when the now retired Scot was in his prime during the 1990s and 2000s.
“I wasn’t really going for it (the 147)”, said O’Sullivan after his 9-3 win over Ding.
“I was trying to score as many points as I could to get over the line. It wasn’t until I got to 48 and the balls broke lovely that I thought it was on, but I was more concerned with winning the frame. I was still playing shots to win the frame until I got to 72, then I thought I can get the maximum.
“It’s a nice record, to have 12 maximums. I suppose a little bit of me wanted to take one of Hendry’s records.
“The fans deserve it – they have supported this tournament brilliantly over the years. In front of a crowd like this it is a great experience.”
The win added to what has been an impressive season for the 38-year-old after also winning the Champion of Champions, The Masters and the Paul Hunter Classic.
And O’Sullivan said he is on a mission to make his CV look the best it could be before his playing days come to an end.
“I am happy I have won and have had a good week,” he added. “It is just about getting the CV looking as nice as you possibly can. The enjoyment is in the doing so I am glad the tournament is over now. I am trying to get the balance with enjoying home life and snooker.”
Runner-up Ding admitted he was not at his best and O’Sullivan was a deserved winner.
“I know I wasn’t in my best form and had a lot of mistakes today,” he said. “Ronnie punished me straight away when I missed easy shots and he was scoring very heavily.”