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Ronnie O'Sullivan hits maximum 147 break to beat Ding Junhui and win Welsh Open title
Updated 9:51am Monday 3rd March 2014 in Sport
Ronnie O'Sullivan made a record 12th competitive 147 break to complete a 9-3 win over Ding Junhui in the Welsh Open final.
O'Sullivan had led 7-1 after a one-sided opening session and, after Ding hit back with consecutive centuries, he pulled away again before rounding off the match in the ultimate style with a maximum, playing to the crowd as he switched to his left hand to sink the final black.
A kick on the final blue threatened to derail the maximum but the five-times world champion potted a good pink and finished the job.
Asked when the 147 entered his thoughts, O'Sullivan told BBC Wales: "I think it was on about 48 when I went into the reds, they split nicely and I looked at the scoreboard and saw it was all blacks. I thought, 'No, just get the match won,' but on about 60 or 70 I thought, 'I've got to go for it.'"
Regarding the swift change of hands before the final ball, he added: "I've made 11 (maximums) right-handed ... that counts as a left-handed 147 because, if I missed that, it wouldn't have counted!"
The win saw 38-year-old O'Sullivan add a ranking title to his season's haul of the Masters, Champion of Champions and the Paul Hunter Classic.
It is O'Sullivan's third Welsh Open triumph, having previously won in Newport in 2004 and 2005, and he took the time to pay tribute to his beaten opponent and tipped him for many more tournament wins in the future.
"I want to congratulate Ding," he said. "He's won four this season and, if he'd won this, he would have equalled [Stephen] Hendry's record. He's got three or four more events to go and I still fancy he'll do it. I hope when I slow down, he can win plenty more. You should enjoy him. He's very special."