Masters Snooker 2016 final: O’Sullivan set to humble Hawkins
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | January 16, 2016
Masters Snooker 2016
- Masters Snooker, the final
- Sunday, January 17th
- Break-offs: 13:00 and 19:00
- Alexandra Palace, London
- Live on BBC Two and Eurosport
Rocket a red-hot favourite
The Masters Snooker is Ronnie O’Sullivan’s home event, and he could hardly have an easier opponent in the 2016 final.
A five-time winner of the most prestigious non-ranking event on the baize, the Rocket battles plucky Barry Hawkins, but this looks a straightforward victorious return to action for Ronnie.
Coral make O’Sullivan firmly odds-on at 2/9 to secure a sixth Masters crown and he oozed class when swatting aside reigning World Snooker champion Stuart Bingham 6-3 in the second semi.
Hawkins should struggle
The Hawk, meanwhile, is a 10/3 outsider to follow up his surprise final four victory over Judd Trump. Hawkins can bog opponents down in gritty, tactical snooker when needed, but in Rocket Ronnie he is dealing with a green baize genius not the pretender to that throne.
O’Sullivan holds a hugely dominant 9-1 head-to-head record over the Hawk, whose only victory came way back in 2002 at the Scottish Open.
With the Masters final being the first to 10 frames across a couple of sessions, Rocket Ronnie looks a worthy winner even given a 3.5 frame deficit to overturn in the handicap market at 4/5.
Expect O’Sullivan to get ahead during first session
Punters can also expect the Rocket to hold a lead after eight frames, and choosing between 12/5 on 5-3 and 16/5 for the advantage to be 6-2 are worthy of consideration.
Based on two notable Crucible victories for O’Sullivan over this opponent in 2013 and 2014, there is simply no looking past him and it borders on the impossible to make a case for Hawkins to pull off what would be a monumental upset.
Rocket Ronnie also has a penchant for the dramatic, which often accompanies such genius, so don’t rule out a 147 maximum break being made in this year’s Masters final at a tasty 10/1.
Coral’s top tip: O’Sullivan to win and make the highest break of the final at 10/11 is splendid value, considering his past utter dominance of the Hawk.