Snooker fans disrupt John Higgins’ attempt at historic 167 break before letting £400,000 prize slip

Snooker fans disrupt John Higgins’ attempt at historic 167 break before letting £400,000 prize slip

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Stuart Ballard

By Stuart Ballard


Published: 05/03/2024

- 07:13

John Higgins had the first real chance of potting the 'golden ball' at the Riyadh Masters on Monday.

John Higgins was just a few pots away from taking home the £400,000 prize for potting the ‘golden ball’ in the Riyadh Masters - until fans in the arena disrupted his momentum.

Snooker has become the latest sport to cash in on Saudi Arabia’s riches with the game’s top players in the Middle East for the inaugural Riyadh Season World Masters.


Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Luca Brecel are among the players invited to the exclusive event.

The tournament has garnered plenty of attention due to the ‘golden ball’ that is on offer in each match.

John Higgins had his chance at a maximum disrupted by fans

John Higgins had his chance at a maximum disrupted by fans

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Players who make a 147 break will get the opportunity to extend that by an extra 20 points on offer by potting the golden ball.

The first player to do so will also walk away with a whopping £400,000 in prize money for the feat.

Higgins had the first real chance of making the historic break during his match against Mark Williams on Monday.

The golden ball is placed on the table at the start of every frame and stays on there while a 147 break is still possible.

Higgins looked on track to give himself a crack at the record break in the very first frame against Williams.

After sinking all the reds, Higgins needed just to pot the final black and leave himself in position on the yellow.

But the four-time world champion’s momentum was disrupted when spectators in the audience walked in his eye-line.

That stopped Higgins in his tracks and forced him to stop his motion.

He eventually recomposed himself and sunk the black, but the cue ball rested against the yellow - making it impossible to pot.

The 48-year-old attempted to cut the yellow into the corner pocket, but he watched on as the ball bounced against the cushion.

John Higgins missed the yellow

John Higgins missed the yellow

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Higgins was able to produce a wry smile over the disruption during his maximum break attempt.

He shared a joke with Williams as the maximum attempt ended and his chances of winning nearly half a million went by until another day.

O’Sullivan will get his first crack at winning the prize today when he faces Higgins in the quarters.

Andy the seven-time world champion has made no secret of his desire to go for the record maximum break.

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John Higgins and Mark Williams were able to laugh about the situation

John Higgins and Mark Williams were able to laugh about the situation

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He said: “It doesn’t matter where they put that Gold Ball mate, I’m going to find it.

“Maximums, we have all done them. But to try and pot this Gold Ball on top of that, and hopefully we can scoop up a big prize.

“I do like a challenge. I’ll certainly go for it because I think it’s great that the promoters put on such a great event.

“It will be nice to succeed in potting the Gold Ball and make that 167 break. A nice thank you to the promoters who have put on a good event.”

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