O’Sullivan to face amateur Cahill in World Championship opener

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s bid for a sixth World Championship title will begin against an amateur at the Crucible.

James Cahill has been drawn against five-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round of the World Championship as he becomes the first amateur to play at the Crucible.

The 23-year-old came through three qualifying rounds to reach the tournament in Sheffield, where he has landed a meeting with modern great O’Sullivan.

Top-ranked star O’Sullivan has been dumped out in the second round in two of the past three years and World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn warned he may not have it all his own way against Cahill.

“The quality coming through on a global scale is incredible,” Hearn said. “The kid James Cahill can play. If Ronnie thinks he has an easy game, he has got another thing coming.”

Elsewhere, defending champion Mark Williams faces Martin Gould in his opener.

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