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Williams makes hilarious O’Sullivan admission after stunning rival in final

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MARK WILLIAMS beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Battle of the Baize Oldies and then joked: Not bad for a part-timer.

Willo, 49, lifted the £150,000 Tour Championship following a 10-5 victory over the Rocket, 48, at Manchester Central.

Mark Williams defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan to win the Tour Championship

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Mark Williams defeated Ronnie O’Sullivan to win the Tour ChampionshipCredit: ITV
Williams joked he wasn't bad for a 'part-time player'

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Williams joked he wasn’t bad for a ‘part-time player’Credit: Getty

The pair’s combined age of 97 is the oldest for finalists in a World Snooker Tour event.

And the Welshman, who graduated into the pro ranks in 1992, is the second-oldest winner of a ranking title.

Only the legendary Ray Reardon has been in the winners’ circle at an older age – he was 50 years and 14 days when he enjoyed success at the 1982 Professional Players Tournament.

But Williams is surprised he beat the top three in the world – O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Mark Allen – this week, especially as he had been suffering from jetlag after playing Chinese pool in the Far East.

Williams, a father of three, said: “Not bad. I played well all day. I took it to him, I played well. I cannot believe I won.

“It’s not bad for a part-timer. I am a part-timer pool player now!

“I never thought I would win tournaments at the age of 49. Who knows, the world championships are round the corner? I will try my best.

“This is up there in my career. As Ronnie said, I think I am a better all-round player now. Considering I don’t practice that much. But I always try my absolute nuts.

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“I have beaten the best three players in the world. I haven’t done it the easy way.

“It’s nice to have family up here. One son always comes with me. Two of my sons only come up to watch Ronnie.

Gary Wilson hailed for sportsmanlike gesture to referee as Ronnie O’Sullivan says snooker rival ‘has become a friend’
WIlliams admitted his sons only come to watch Ronnie O'Sullivan

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WIlliams admitted his sons only come to watch Ronnie O’SullivanCredit: ITV
O'Sullivan suffered a frustrating day on the baize

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O’Sullivan suffered a frustrating day on the baizeCredit: Getty

“The crowd have been fantastic. They have given everybody great support.”

Two weeks out before the Crucible action begins, this was a tremendous clash between two legends of the sport.

And the crowd were rewarded with five centuries, including a high score of 127 from O’Sullivan in frame six.

O’Sullivan led 5-3 after the afternoon session, despite being 3-1 down, but then Williams won SEVEN frames in a row in the evening in a masterclass performance.

The Essex potter lost in his first major final since February 2022 but he magnanimous in defeat.

It’s nice to have family up here. One son always comes with me. Two of my sons only come up to watch Ronnie.

Mark Williams

He said: “Listen, I think Mark has been the most consistent player for the last five years.

“The way he has been hitting the ball. Very rarely does he play a poor match.

“The way he has played this week and in the final, he’s such an amazing player. He’s so talented.

“I think he’s better now than he has ever been to be honest with you. He seems so strong.

“I tried, I gave it everything, but he’s so consistent, so strong.

“If you don’t keep playing top-level snooker against him, he’ll just eat you alive. I think I did well to get five frames.”

O’Sullivan added: “If he was to dedicate his whole life to it, he would probably be number one in the world. But he doesn’t – he likes to play golf and chill out, enjoy his life.

“He doesn’t do badly for someone that just plays about it in the sport.”

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