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Saudi organisers announce outrageous change to 'Golden Ball' prize money in 2025

Saudi organisers announce outrageous change to 'Golden Ball' prize money in 2025

Ronnie O'Sullivan was crowned champion of the Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker on Wednesday.

Saudi adviser Turki Alalshikh has announced a major change to the prize money for hitting a 167-break at next year's Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker.

On Wednesday night, world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan was crowned the inaugural champion of the tournament after recording a 5-2 victory over Luca Brecel.

O'Sullivan scooped £250,000 for winning the controversial event but like his other competitors, 'The Rocket' failed to pot the 'Golden Ball' worth $500,000 [around £395,000].

The 23rd ball made its much-anticipated debut at the tournament in Riyadh, sitting on the baulk cushion during Ding Junhui's opening match against wild card Omar Alajlani.

But after nobody managed to claim the prize money for recording a 167-break, Turki Alalshikh, who is the current Chairman of General Authority for Entertainment, made an announcement.

"Nobody got the Golden Ball in this competition," he said in the aftermath of O'Sullivan's win on Wednesday. "So, for the next competition we will double it for $1million."

That's right. The 'Golden Ball' prize money will double in 2025, meaning a super maximum 167-break will be worth $1million, which is also double the amount for winning the World Snooker Championship.

Speaking in his post-match interview, a delighted O'Sullivan opened up on playing in the first ever World Snooker Tour event in Saudi Arabia.

"These are the tournaments you really want to play in, one table, great crowd, great atmosphere," he said.

"The music was going in between the frames - it was like we were in some sort of rave! I think the whole crowd have enjoyed it, it's made it a bit more lively. It feels like a really nice festival. Everyone wants to get to Saudi."

O'Sullivan added: "You want to make the sport as big as you can make it, coming to places like this, the Saudis are a powerhouse. If anything they can inject something into snooker.

"The crowd have enjoyed it, we've certainly enjoyed it so should be a 10-year contract on the table tomorrow."

As a result of his latest win, Ronnie O'Sullivan has broken the record for the most prize money earned in a season.

Featured Image Credit: Eurosport

Topics: Snooker, Saudi Arabia, Ronnie OSullivan