China Open could see Ronnie O’Sullivan’s spell as world number one last just two weeks

Ronnie O’Sullivan might not last long as world number one (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan made a remarkable return to the top of snooker’s world rankings on Sunday night, but his reign as world number one could be short-lived.

The 43-year-old won the Tour Championship in Llandudno and the £150,000 he picked up was enough to see him surge to the top of the rankings.

The ‘Rocket’ usurped Mark Selby as world number one, regaining the spot for the first time since May 2010, and for the fourth time of his immense career.

However, Selby has the chance to take it back at next week’s China Open, and with O’Sullivan not competing, there is nothing he can do about it.

Mark Selby has the chance to regain top spot very quickly (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)

The world rankings are based on prize money won over two years, and O’Sullivan took his total to £1,240,500 thanks to the win in Wales.

He is now £58,275 ahead of Selby, who has dropped to second in the rankings.

With £225,000 on offer for the winner of the China Open, that will be more than enough for Selby to ascend the rankings once again, if he can win the title for a third straight year, and fourth time overall.

Luckily for Selby, when he won the event two years ago he claimed just £85,000, so only that amount will come off his world ranking next week. If he wins it again, he will still gain £140,000 on the order of merit.

Snooker World Rankings

  1. Ronnie O’Sullivan 1,240,500
  2. Mark Selby 1,182,225
  3. Mark Williams 1,040,000
  4. John Higgins 758,500
  5. Mark Allen 702,000
  6. Judd Trump 674,000
  7. Neil Robertson 592,500
  8. Kyren Wilson 558,725
  9. Ding Junhui 456,000
  10. Barry Hawkins 449,500
  11. Shaun Murphy 382,500
  12. Stuart Bingham 366,500
  13. Stephen Maguire 335,000
  14. Luca Brecel 321,600
  15. Jack Lisowski 316,600
  16. David Gilbert 299,000

O’Sullivan played in the China Open two years ago, losing in the second round to Mark Joyce and picking up £6,500 in the process, so that amount will fall off his total as well.

World number three Mark Williams is within the £225,000 of O’Sullivan currently, but as he reached the 2017 final, he will see £35,000 knocked off his ranking, making him unable to take the number one spot in Beijing next week.

Selby must win the tournament to take the number one spot, otherwise, Ronnie will head to the World Championship next month at the top of the rankings.

MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘probably even better than Roger Federer’ says Neil Robertson

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