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Bingham: Ronnie’s Masters class was no surprise

STUART BINGHAM said Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Masters win was no surprise to him, despite the Rocket’s lack of match play on this year’s tour.

World champion Bingham lost 6-3 in the semis at Alexandra Palace to O’Sullivan, who went on to blow away Barry Hawkins 10-1 in the final on Sunday evening.

It was O’Sullivan’s sixth Masters title and came on the back of a first half of a season in which he has only played a handful of times due to a back injury.

Bingham, who beat Ding Junhui and John Higgins to make the last four of snooker’s most prestigious invitational, said: “It was one of those matches for me against Ronnie where I could have been 3-1 up at the break instead of 3-1 down, but that is just how it goes against him.

“Ronnie pounces on other player’s mistakes better than anyone else and gets stronger and stronger in matches.

“He was saying he was not happy with his game during the tournament but his B-game is probably as good as some people’s A-game.

“I was looking at some stats on Twitter and his pot percentage was about 92 or 93 per cent. Mine when I beat Ding was 83 per cent so it just shows the standard you have to be at.

“Overall it was a good tournament for me and the win over John Higgins was very pleasing.

“But the truth is I would swap the prize money to get my hands on that trophy and it is an event I really want to win in the future.”

Bingham was also impressed with the BBC’s new comedy-drama, The Rack Pack. It was televised after the conclusion of the Masters and focused on the big rivalry between Steve Davis and Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins during snooker’s heyday in the 1980s.

Ball Run, 39, said: “I spoke to Steve Davis about it during the Masters and he said it made him look like a right snooker geek!

“He enjoyed it I think but he said it made him feel a bit tearful at the end because of how they portrayed the rivalry between him and Higgins. I think it made him look at it in a new way.

“I’m not sure how close to the truth it all was but it made for good viewing. One of my earliest snooker memories was the world final in 1985 (between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor) and it was obviously a bit of a golden era for the sport.”

Bingham is next in action at the Championship League Group 4 event at Crondon Park in Essex on January 27-28. He will be in a group which will include Neil Robertson and Graeme Dott.

Basildon pro Bingham is a member at Crondon Park and plays golf there and admits it does feel a bit like a ‘home’ venue for him.

He said: “I always enjoy playing there – if only because it is such a short journey from my house! I’ve always enjoyed my golf and used to play off of five – but it’s more like 15 nowadays!

“But this event is six matches over one-and-a-half-days and the competition is always very good, so I am looking forward to it.”

* Before Bingham’s outing at Crondon Park he is playing at the Irish Legends Cup in Country Kildare between January 23-24. He will be on the England team with Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Tony Knowles, as they face an Ireland side featuring Ken Doherty, Mark Allen, Joe Swail and Fergal O’Brien. Tickets are available here.

By James Colasanti

Journalist at CogitoPR.