World number 81 Jordan Brown earned a shock 5-3 lead over World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan after the first session of the BetVictor Welsh Open final at the Celtic Manor Resort.
Northern Irishman Brown, 33, is competing in his first ever ranking event final this week. His illustrious opponent O’Sullivan is in his 56th title match at a ranking tournament.
If the Antrim cueman can complete the job this evening it would be one of the greatest upsets ever seen in a major final. Victory for O’Sullivan would see him claim a record equalling fifth Welsh Open title, to draw level with John Higgins.
Brown, a 750/1 outsider at the start of the week, looked calm and composed in the opening stages as he claimed the first two frames to lead 2-0. A break of 74 saw O’Sullivan get his first frame on the board in the next, before Brown fired in a run of 78 to lead 3-1 at the mid-session interval.
When play resumed, a stunning contribution of 108 helped Brown into a 4-1 lead. The Rocket then roared back into contention with breaks of 135 and 121 to move within a frame.
However, Brown crucially took the last of the afternoon to emerge two ahead. The pair will return at 7pm to play the best of 17 encounter to a conclusion. The winner will claim the Ray Reardon Trophy and a top prize of £70,000.