RONNIE O’Sullivan won his sixth Masters title in grand style by thrashing Barry Hawkins 10-1 marking a superb comeback to the game.
Now level with Stephen Hendry’s half a dozen Masters wins, O’Sullivan beat Hawkins 10-1 to collect the trophy and record one of the most one-sided Masters final victories since Steve Davis beat Mike Hallett 9-0 in 1988.
Leading 7-1 after a dominant opening session, the five-times world champion needed less than an hour in the evening session to get the required three frames for victory.
The 40-year-old now has 16 Triple Crown tournaments to his name, just two shy of Hendry’s record of 18, and he has become the oldest Masters champion since Ray Reardon won in 1976 aged 43.
In 22 appearances at the Masters, O’Sullivan has played 63 matches and reached 11 finals, both also records.
And what has made O’Sullivan’s record-equaling triumph even sweeter was that it was his first major tournament back since an eight-month break away from the game.
He did it before in the World Championship of 2013 it must be stressed but to do it again just goes to show the incredible talent the man possesses with a snooker cue.
“It’s unbelievable to win six titles, and I’ve lost in five finals so I could have had a few more,” a thrilled O’Sullivan said.
“John Higgins and I should be playing in the seniors event this year so it’s great that we are still winning big titles. This gives me massive confidence because it shows that I don’t have to be at the top of my game as long as I’m mentally on the ball.
“You can play your way into form sometimes. I got lucky that no one played their best against me this week.
“My back and my legs are still weak so I need to work on that with a physiotherapist. I am not able to stabilise myself as well as I was before the injury. It’s at the back of my mind so I just want to clear that out of the way so I can concentrate on playing.”
Hawkins, who suffered his ninth straight defeat to the hands of O’Sullivan, admitted he was disappointed not to have performed well in the final.
“I was sitting there and I was thinking I don’t feel like I’ve even been involved in the final. I felt so good against Judd in the semi-final and I was hoping to feel the same out there today but I just didn’t get going at all.
“I was definitely cueing around corners today – it didn’t feel like my arm.”
O’SULLIVAN’S ROUTE TO MASTERS GLORY
Round One – beat Mark WILLIAMS 6-5
Quarter-Finals – beat Mark SELBY 6-2
Semi-Finals – beat Stuart BINGHAM 6-3
Final – beat Barry HAWKINS 10-1