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Ronnie O'Sullivan gives first glimpse of Golden Ball at $1m Saudi tournament

Ronnie O'Sullivan gives first glimpse of Golden Ball at $1m Saudi tournament

Judd Trump potted the gold ball ahead of the opening match of this week's Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker tournament.

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump gave fans a glimpse of the 'golden ball' ahead of Monday's opening game at the World Masters of Snooker tournament in Saudi Arabia.

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

According to World Snooker Tour rules, tournament organisers will reward any player who manages to pot the golden ball after the final black with a cheque worth £395,000.

“Each game will be played under World Snooker rules and regulations but with the introduction of an innovative new concept, a 23rd ball known as the Riyadh Season ball,” The World Snooker Tour said in a statement.

“This gold ball will be worth 20 points and can only be potted once all other balls have been successfully cleared from the table if a player is on a maximum break to make it 167.”

As seen in the opening frame of Ding Junhui's opener against Omar Alajlani on Monday, the golden ball was removed once a 147 was no longer possible in a frame.

World number one Ronnie O'Sullivan, who is one of the favourites to win this year's inaugural tournament, posted a video of him practising before his quarter-final clash on Tuesday.

Here, the golden ball could be seen as he played a shot.

O’Sullivan has already made his feelings clear on the controversial golden ball. Speaking back in January, he said: “What's the prize for a 167? Have they announced it? I'm sure that it will be a hefty prize.

“Listen, the Saudis can just do what they like. They are a powerful outfit. Every other sport seems to be doing stuff in Saudi, so it will be great to go out there.”

In his training session, Judd Trump potted the golden ball for the very first time on Monday, with the World Snooker Tour's X account posting footage of the moment.

"This is my first time seeing the golden ball on the table," he said. "I'm going to have a little practice here. Black to the gold ball. Let's see if I can manage to do it under no pressure."

Eurosport will broadcast live coverage of The Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker, with play from Monday at 2pm UK time.

There will also be two sessions starting at 2pm and 7pm on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Featured Image Credit: X/@ronnieo147

Topics: Snooker, Ronnie OSullivan, Saudi Arabia