This year’s Champion of Champions event will have a new winner after defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan withdrew his invite for next month’s tournament.
World Snooker announced the five-times world champion’s withdrawal of the ITV event earlier today.
O’Sullivan has won each of the tournament’s two events beating Stuart Bingham in the 2013 final and Judd Trump in last year’s final.
He will be replaced by the highest ranked player on the world rankings after the conclusion of the International Championship who has not already been seeded into a group.
O’Sullivan’s withdrawal comes less than a week after organisers initially announced he would be competing in the 2015 event at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
But O’Sullivan was quick to play down his involvement in the tournament when he tweeted last week: “I don’t want fans buying tickets for Coventry thinking I’m playing. I said I hadn’t entered weeks ago. Nothing’s changed.”
It forced organisers to change O’Sullivan’s name in the draw to ‘TBC’ (to be confirmed).