No need to look twice – you’re seeing it correctly. After 1,506 days, Mark Selby’s unbroken run at the top of the world rankings is over.
Selby’s run as top dog started at the 2015 German Masters, 49 months ago, but he has now dropped to second place. In the past four months, O’Sullivan has won the Betway UK Championship, Coral Players Championship and Coral Tour Championship, banking £445,000 from those three events to take him to number one. The Rocket is top of the rankings for the fourth time in his career and first since 2010.
He becomes the inaugural winner of the Coral Cup, having earned £280,000 from the three Coral Series events.
O’Sullivan has earned £904,500 this season, his own personal best, and is well placed to become the first player to win over £1 million in a single campaign. He is not playing in next week’s XingPai China Open, but a run to the semi-finals of the Betfred World Championship would earn him £100,000 and take him into seven figures. With a top prize of £500,000 available at the Crucible, he could end the season with over £1,400,000.
Selby would have to win the title in China next week to regain top spot.
Neil Robertson was runner-up at the Coral Tour Championship and his £60,000 moves him one place up the official list to seventh.
The XingPai China Open, which runs from April 1 to 7, is the final event in the Race to the Crucible. The top 16 will then be handed a place at Sheffield’s Theatre of Dreams, while all other players will need to win three matches at the Betfred World Championship qualifiers.
David Gilbert occupies 16th place in the race with £300,000 and a lead of £15,000 over Ryan Day in 17th. Day needs to reach the quarter-finals in Beijing, worth £27,000, to have a chance of leap-frogging Gilbert.
With big money available in China, anyone in the field down to Xiao Guodong in 23rd has a chance of getting into the top 16 by reaching the final and earning £90,000, while anyone down to Dominic Dale in 66th could jump into the elite by winning the £225,000 top prize.