Snooker: Joel is ‘wowed’ by his idol O’Sullivan

Sheffield's Joel Walker
Sheffield's Joel Walker
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Joel Walker admits his idol Ronnie O’Sullivan, the five-time world champion, brings that “wow factor” to the sport.

Breaks of 71, 53 and 73 helped Crucible king O’Sullivan to a 6-1 victory yesterday over Sheffield’s Walker at the Barnsley Metrodome in the qualifiers for the International Chanpionships.

It was the first time Walker, ranked 89 in the world, had played O’Sullivan in a competitive tournament, although they have practiced together.

The 19-year-old told The Star: “I thought it was a lot closer game than the scoreline suggests. I am disappointed as I had a lot of chances.

“I just made a couple of bad decisions.

“I enjoyed the experience of playing Ronnie. I felt really comfortable out there and I started off quite well. It was a really good atmosphere.

“Everyone wanted to come and see Ronnie and there was a big crowd for him. He makes snooker at the moment. In the few tournaments I have been to and he’s not been there, they are still good but he adds that extra wow factor.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t spoil his day. Hopefully one day I will be attracting crowds like that.”