World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan enjoyed a magical return to action in Milton Keynes on Wednesday by hitting six stunning centuries, including three straight tons against Mark Selby, to dominate a seven-man Group 5 at the Championship League.
O'Sullivan warmed up for next week's Welsh Open at Celtic Manor (LIVE on Eurosport) by completing two 3-0 victories over Joe Perry and Kyren Wilson respectively and a 3-1 win over old foe Ali Carter, who he famously defeated in the 2008 and 2012 world finals, boosted by runs of 122, 114 and 102.
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O'Sullivan was far from finished as he recorded three straight centuries of 125, 124 and 140 in a 3-1 win over Selby, who did not pot a ball after the opening frame, to finish the day on top of Group 5 with a 100 percent record on four points and a frame difference of plus 10.
In his first competitive matches since losing 6-3 to John Higgins in the quarter-finals of the Masters last month, the world number three also enjoyed breaks of 54, 76, 54 and 71 before his final fixture of the day against Selby, who ended the day pointless alongside Barry Hawkins from three matches.
O'Sullivan, who faces world number 77 Robbie Williams in the first round of the Welsh Open, is ideally placed to make a push for victory in the Group 5 final on Thursday with the top four contesting the semi-finals.
He is already guaranteed to progress to the last four before concluding his Group 5 fixtures against Mark Williams and Barry Hawkins on Thursday.
Carter was second after his first four matches on three points courtesy of a 3-1 win over Barry Hawkins, including a brilliant 141 break, a 3-2 success against Perry and a 3-1 win over Wilson.
World number one Judd Trump won Group 4 on Tuesday to join Higgins, Zhou Yuelong and Graeme Dott in the winners' group on April 1-2 when the Championship League concludes.
Latest group standings here

Wednesday's latest Group 5 results/fixtures

  • Mark Williams 3-2 Mark Selby
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan 3-0 Kyren Wilson
  • Ali Carter 3-1 Barry Hawkins
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan 3-0 Joe Perry
  • Ali Carter 3-2 Joe Perry
  • Kyren Wilson 3-2 Mark Selby
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan 3-1 Ali Carter
  • Mark Williams 3-1 Barry Hawkins
  • Barry Hawkins 1-3 Joe Perry
  • Kyren Wilson 1-3 Ali Carter
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan 3-1 Mark Selby
  • Kyren Wilson 3-2 Mark Williams
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15/01/2022 AT 20:35