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John Higgins misses out on 'golden ball' 167 break in Saudi Arabia as World Masters of Snooker begins

John Higgins misses out on becoming first player to make 'golden ball' 167 break; players at World Masters of Snooker in Saudi Arabia can add 20 points to their score after 147 by potting extra ball; Higgins sunk 15 reds and 15 blacks before running out of position on the yellow

Scotland's John Higgins in action against Thailand's Noppon Saengkham during day ten of the Betfred World Snooker Championships at The Crucible, Sheffield. Picture date: Monday April 25, 2022.
Image: John Higgins was looking to make a 'golden ball' 167 break and scoop just shy of £400,000 but ran out of position on the yellow

John Higgins came agonisingly close to becoming the first player to compile a 'golden ball' 167 break at the World Masters of Snooker in Saudi Arabia.

Players in the new tournament will get the chance to turn a regulation maximum break of 147 into a 167, and land a whopping £395,000, by potting a 20-point golden ball.

The extra ball, which is placed on the baulk cushion, can only be potted after the final black has been sunk and is removed from the table once a maximum break is no longer feasible.

Higgins potted 15 reds and blacks before running out of position on the yellow during his second-round match against fellow veteran Mark Williams.

The Scot, 48, overcame that disappointment to win the match 4-2, sealing victory at 2.30am Riyadh time.

That set up a quarter-final against Ronnie O'Sullivan on Tuesday.

The tournament features the world's top 10 players plus two local wildcards.

Also See:

Could Saudi event become snooker's 'fourth major'?

Mark Allen became the fourth player to land a 147 break at the Masters
Image: Mark Allen hopes the World Masters of Snooker can grow the game

Mark Allen, who will play Mark Selby in the quarter-finals, is dubious about World Snooker claiming the next tournament in Saudi Arabia, a world ranking event from August 31 to September 7, could become the sport's 'fourth major', after the World Championship, Masters and UK Championship.

But he does feel it can help grow the game.

Allen told the BBC: "I don't know about the fourth major thing.

"I think you only become a major when history becomes attached to your event, years and years of going to the same place. I think that's what builds history.

"You can't just throw money at something and call it a major but it will be a big event for us. There's great money involved and it's just another opportunity to go into a new region.

"Hopefully that will encourage the likes of Dubai and Qatar and places like that to get involved too because it would be an exciting time for the sport."

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