John Higgins falls short in his quest for a 167 break, also known as the ‘golden ball’, in Saudi Arabia

John Higgins came remarkably close to achieving a milestone in snooker history during the World Masters tournament in Saudi Arabia. In his second-round match against Mark Williams, Higgins flawlessly potted all 15 reds and blacks, setting himself up for a potential 167 break. This opportunity arose as a result of the introduction of the โ€œgolden ballโ€ rule in the tournament held in Riyadh, offering a significant cash prize of ยฃ395,000 to anyone who could complete a maximum break of 147 and subsequently pot the golden ball.
Despite sinking a challenging final red and lining up for the 15th black with precision, Higgins faced a setback. A miscalculation in positioning on the yellow ball led to a missed pot, abruptly ending his impressive break and preventing him from reaching the golden ball stage.
Following the near-miss, Higgins managed to secure a 4-2 victory over Williams in the early hours of the morning, albeit with the golden ball opportunity lingering in his thoughts. Reflecting on the match, he mentioned how even his opponent, Mark Williams, confessed to feeling nervous, emphasizing the significant moment that could have been.
Having started the day with a convincing 4-0 win against Omar Alajlani from Saudi Arabia in the preliminary round, Higgins advanced to face Ronnie Oโ€™Sullivan in the quarter-finals. Additionally, the tournament saw Ding Junhui defeat Ali Alobaidli from Qatar before narrowly losing 4-3 to Ali Carter in the subsequent round.
Looking ahead, exciting matchups await in the quarter-finals, including clashes between Mark Allen and Mark Selby, as well as Judd Trump and Shaun Murphy. As the competition intensifies, Higgins remains a formidable contender poised for a memorable journey towards potential victory in the World Masters tournament.
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