The world No28, nicknamed The Rocket, had played just once since winning last year’s world final against Ali Carter at the Crucible, but returned to the table after a self-induced seven-month sabbatical and successfully defended his title with an 18-12 victory over Barry Hawkins.
En route to his sensational win, and £250,000 prize check, O’Sullivan said he had not missed snooker during his time away, but last night confirmed he has begun making plans for next season, though was non-committal over a possible Crucible return.
“I will definitely play in some smaller events because that’s pure snooker, whereas there are a lot of other things going on here and that’s hard sometimes,” he said.
“I love being at the Crucible and this has filled a nice gap. But when it’s snooker, snooker, snooker I don’t cope well with that and I need something to chill me out a bit.
“I didn’t know what to expect, my main motive wasn’t to win it. I was bored and needed something to keep me busy. I want to balance it with doing other stuff. I didn’t miss snooker I just missed having something to do.”
O’Sullivan held a 10-7 lead overnight and extended that advantage to 15-10 going into the evening session.
The 37-year-old hit a record six centuries on his way to defeating first-time finalist Hawkins, who hailed his flawless opponent.
“It’s unbelievable the way he makes the game look so easy, it’s frightening for the other players,” said Hawkins. “It was a shame I lost but it’s no disgrace to lose to Ronnie, the best player in the world.”