‘The world could be my oyster’: Pinner snooker ace believes 2016 is his year to shine

Pinner potter Martin Gould believes Ronnie O’Sullivan could dominate snooker for years to come after the five-time World Champion clinched the Masters title on Sunday.

O’Sullivan crushed Barry Hawkins 10-1 to win his sixth Masters trophy, showing his class with a break of 136 in the third frame before wrapping up the win with a break of 82.

Gould, who didn’t feature in the tournament at Alexandra Palace, insists O’Sullivan’s quality around the table is enough to put the fear into any of his opponents.

“I’ve seen the result and it looked pretty one-sided,” he said.

“It must have been pretty daunting for Barry being in his first Masters final so the pressure just got a little too much.

“If you start missing a few early doors and Ronnie starts punishing you, he can win tournaments in a click of a finger.

“He wins frames so quick it’s just unbelievable – I’ve had the experience of playing him myself so I know exactly what he can do when he wants to.”

The Betfred World Championship, the highlight of the snooker calendar, kicks off in April, and O’Sullivan has announced that he intends to challenge for his sixth title.

The 40-year-old famously took a four-month hiatus from the sport during the 2012/13 season, before returning from his sabbatical to lift the World Championship trophy for the second year in a row.

After once again showing what he can do at the Masters, Gould insists this year’s title is O’Sullivan’s for the taking.

“At any tournament he enters he’s always going to be a favourite so you can’t really rule him out,” he said.

“There are probably three or four others that you could maybe tip to possibly dethrone him but you’ve got to say he’s the main man at the moment.

“If he really wanted to, and really put his heart and soul into it, I think he could dominate snooker for at least another five or ten years.”

Despite missing out on a Masters’ place, Gould has enjoyed a successful season, just a year after a serious ear infection threatened to blight his career.

After reaching the quarter-finals of the UK Championship in York before Christmas, 34-year-old Gould believes 2016 could be his year to shine, starting with the German Masters in February.

“I was very happy,” he said. “All in all, this season so far has been really good.

“I got to the final of the Australian Open, quarter-final of the finals in Shanghai, and the quarter-finals in York, which to be fair, should have been a lot further.

“But that is all done and dusted now and the disappointment has gone.

“It’s time to move on and concentrate on 2016 and try and pick up a few more trophies if I can.

“I’d like to think I can do really well this year, but the German Masters is going to be tough.

“I’ve got Mark Williams in Berlin and he’s no mug.

“He’s a two-time world champion and he’s won every other tournament that you can name so it’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be the same for him – he’s not going to want to play me either.

“But if you want to win some of the big tournaments, these are the sort of players you’ve got to beat on a regular basis.

“I’ve become a bit more consistent in beating these top 16 players, so if I take my A-game, I know I can beat anyone who is in the opposite chair.

“The world could be my oyster.”

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