People see Ronnie O’Sullivan and think it’s easy – Lee Walker hits career high with seniors win

Lee Walker

Lee Walker took the senior world title in the Crucible (Photo: Andy Chubb)

Lee Walker enjoyed the peak of his nearly 30-year career when he won the Senior Men’s World Snooker Championship on Sunday night, reminding people the game isn’t as easy as the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan make it seem.

The 46-year-old defeated Jimmy White 5-4 at the Crucible to win the seniors title for the first time. He bounced back from a 3-1 and 4-2 deficit and snuffed out the Whirlwind.

After a long career on the field that has seen only one semi-final in the standings, it was an emotional win for Walker at Sheffield, especially after a great run in which he defeated Tony Knowles. Stephen Hendry, Ken Doherty and defending champion David Lilley ahead of White in the final.

‘Without doubt [the best moment of my career]’ Walker told the BBC. ‘I was thinking about the end of [Welsh Open champion] Joe Perry and the older guys who won tournaments. I know this isn’t a ranked event, but I think my days of winning ranked tournaments are over, but I’ll take it and cherish it forever.

“You just have to keep going, it’s never over. There’s a lot of pressure out there, I wanted to win, Jimmy wanted to win.

“It’s a title played in the Crucible. Everyone thinks it’s easy because they watch Ronnie, John Higgins, Mark Williams play and don’t miss anything, but actually this game is not that easy. I am absolutely delighted.

“It’s great to come here and play in front of this crowd in a one table setup at the Crucible. Few people get to play it, it’s an absolute dream come true.’

Having won the senior title three times, White had now been second for two years, but the 60-year-old was full of praise for the new champion.

“Make no mistake, I think I’m too old to play two games in one day,” said the whirlwind.

Jimmy White narrowly missed out on another senior title (Image: Andy Chubb)

“He played a lot better than me today, I missed a few balls earlier in the session, managed to take a 3-1 lead, didn’t play really well. 4-2 lead but didn’t really have a chance to decide the match. But fair to him, I’m happy for him.

“I played quite well in bits and pieces. I may have run out of breath today, but I can’t take anything away from Lee.

“His safety was excellent, he took his chances and played fair against him.”

White will be back on the Main Tour next season, adding on Twitter: “Thanks everyone for the support last night and kudos to Lee. How I cuete gives me a lot of confidence for next season.

MORE : Plans revealed for new World Snooker Championship venue next to Crucible

MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan calls for World Snooker Championship to stay at Crucible

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General Sports People see Ronnie O'Sullivan and think it's easy – Lee Walker hits career high with seniors win

Nate Jones

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