In 1997, Ronnie O’Sullivan Shot the Fastest Maximum Break in Snooker History and It’s Utterly Beautiful
At the 1997 World Snooker Championship, a 21-year-old Ronnie O’Sullivan set the Guinness World Record for the fastest maximum break ever. At 5 minutes and 8 seconds, the astonishing record still stands today.
A maximum break in snooker is the highest possible break in a single frame. A player compiles a maximum break by potting all 15 reds with 15 blacks for 120 points, followed by all six colours for a further 27 points. A maximum break is regarded as the highest possible achievement in a single frame of snooker, and is often compared to a nine-dart finish in darts or a 300 game in ten-pin bowling.
Twenty years after O’Sullivan’s maximum break against Mick Price in the first round of the 1997 World Snooker Championship, it was revealed that the given break time of 5 minutes 20 seconds as calculated from BBC footage was incorrect. From the moment that O’Sullivan first strikes the cue ball to pot his first red, the elapsed time is 5 minutes 8 seconds – a time now acknowledged by World Snooker. [source]
O’Sullivan also holds the record for the highest number of maximum breaks in professional competition (15). Born 5 December 1975, Ronnie is a six-time (and reigning) world champion, a record seven-time Masters champion, and a record seven-time UK champion. He is the most successful player in the history of snooker’s Triple Crown Series, with a record 20 titles. He also holds the record for the most ranking titles in professional snooker, with 37. His career prize money of over £11.7 million is the most by any player in snooker history. [source]