UK Snooker Championship 2017: Ronnie O'Sullivan thrashes Michael White, Barry Hawkins beaten
|2017 UK Championship|
|Date: 28 Nov-10 Dec Venue: York Barbican|
|Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 2 December.|
Five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrated his 42nd birthday with a 6-1 win over Welshman Michael White in the third round of the UK Championship.
O'Sullivan was dominant early on, making a stunning 132 on his way to a 4-1 lead against the world number 26.
An error-strewn sixth frame also went O'Sullivan's way and he closed out victory with a break of 65.
World number eight Barry Hawkins was a shock last-32 loser against Thailand's Sunny Akani.
Akanai, the world number 84, now plays his "idol" O'Sullivan after winning what Hawkins described as "disgusting match".
Hawkins added: "That was one of my worst ever performances. From 2-0 down I just lost confidence in the table. I just want to forget it."
World number six Shaun Murphy also progressed, scoring five breaks of more than 50 as he earned a 6-3 win over Jimmy Robertson.
Murphy faces Ricky Walden in the fourth round, following the Chester man's impressive 6-2 victory over world number 13 Kyren Wilson, while Mark King, Martin Gould and three-time champion John Higgins also progressed on day eight at the York Barbican.
'I have other more important stuff to do'
World number four O'Sullivan said he was not at his best in beating an out-of-sorts White.
O'Sullivan, who is seeking to match Steve Davis' record haul of six titles in the event, made his third century of the tournament and added a further three breaks of more than 50 to move into the last 16.
Another title would also see him draw level with Stephen Hendry's 18 'Triple Crown' triumphs, having won the World Championship five times and the Masters on seven occasions.
World number four O'Sullivan said: "He struggled and I scrambled a bit better than he did. I wasn't brilliant but some people scramble better than others when they need to, and I was able to do that."
With 12 of the top 16 seeds having already lost in York - including the world's top three Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Ding Junhui - O'Sullivan's hopes are looking increasingly strong.
O'Sullivan showed flashes of his fluent best early on, but his margin of victory was as much down to White's struggles as his own efforts.
White, 26, said: "I was absolutely awful. It's so frustrating. I didn't even play half-decent."
O'Sullivan added: "You could see Michael struggling out there and the more you miss the harder it gets. I kind of felt for him. He's a good lad and he loves the game and it was frustrating for him.
"I want to play well and do well but if I don't, I don't care. I have other more important stuff to do."
Higgins holds nerve in face of fightback
Higgins, 42, held off a fine fightback by Chinese teenager Yan Bingtao to progress with a 6-3 victory.
The Scot hit breaks of 66 and 80 as he moved 3-0 ahead, but Yan, 17, then responded with two-half centuries of his own to help bring him level.
But Higgins' superior matchplay began to tell and two more 50s saw him over the line.
Higgins, who plays Mark King in the next round following the Englishman's win over Luca Brecel, said: "I competed well. My safety was good against a very talented player. At 3-3 he had all the confidence in the world, but I nicked it."