Ronnie O’Sullivan keeps his cool to see off Zhang Yong and then John Higgins to reach last eight of the English Open
PUBLISHED: 10:30 20 October 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
The Romford-based cueman is on track to win the tournament at Barnsley’s Metrodome Leisure Complex
Even letting a spectator who evaded security finish a break for him couldn’t halt Ronnie O’Sullivan’s momentum as he reached the quarter-finals on a bizarre day at the Dafabet English Open.
In his third-round match against Zhang Yong at Barnsley’s Metrodome Leisure Complex on Thursday afternoon, O’Sullivan was about to seal a 4-1 victory when a female fan emerged from the crowd and started running round the table.
The 41-year-old, also a keen amateur runner, potted the pink to move his break on to 129 and then handed his cue to the spectator, watching her twice miss the black before she was finally escorted away by security.
The five-time world champion then beat old foe John Higgins 4-3 in the last 16 during the evening session to reach the last-eight but was still bemused by the snooker invader.
“I didn’t know what to do at first, then she said ‘I’m just having a little jog, I’m just going for a jog’,” explained O’Sullivan.
“And I was like: ‘Go on then, carry on then, there’s your jog, have a shot as well while you’re at it.’
“I thought when the [security] guys came out they were going to rugby tackle her but they might have killed her! I saved her from getting a rugby tackle.”
Meanwhile, the English Open title defence of maximum man Liang Wenbo – who made a 147 break on Wednesday to claim £42,000 – ended in the last 32 as he was thrashed 4-0 by 17-year-old Chinese superstar Yan Bingtao.
And the third Grove Snooker-based player left in the tournament, Judd Trump, was also knocked out, as he was left to curse his luck after going down 4-3 to good friend Jack Lisowski.
“It started off bad and I didn’t feel comfortable, I didn’t feel good,” said Trump. “I don’t think either of us played very well.
“I got in control at 3-2 but then he’s missed the red and fluked it in when I had a very good chance to win it.
“In the last frame I’ve potted a good ball to get in, split the pack and finished on nothing.
“It’s the kind of thing that wasn’t happening in the last tournament [the European Masters, which Trump won]. In that event I would have split the pack perfectly and cleared up.”
Watch the English Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds