Ronnie O’Sullivan’s impressive start to the Northern Ireland Open continued with a 4-1 win over Alfie Burden.
The world number three beat Stuart Carrington and Andy Hicks for the loss of one frame, and he was never in any danger against Burden.
O’Sullivan complained of a flat atmosphere in his win over Hicks. If he was feeling flat against Burden, he disguised it extremely well as he dominated the contest to ease into the last 16.
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The Rocket settled quickly, and a couple of contributions secured the opening frame for the three-time beaten finalist.
Burden, who is back on the tour after coming out of retirement to emerge through Q School, had a chance in the second.
He knocked in an excellent break of 51, but broke down and the gulf in class between the two was demonstrated by a tale of two greens.
Burden got nowhere near his long pot, while one shot later O’Sullivan stroked his effort into the bottom right to set up a steal of the second.
There was disappointment etched on Burden’s face as O’Sullivan picked his pocket in the second, and a wild pot on a red in the third summed up his mood.

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“I think the cameraman behind the pocket was in more danger than the pocket,” said Neal Foulds on Eurosport commentary.
O’Sullivan did not pass up the gift horse, as he rolled in a break of 54 to move within one frame of victory.
Burden is no mug, and he showed his quality by taking the fourth in a single visit with a fantastic break of 127 to stop the rot.
O’Sullivan looked unfazed by Burden’s show of quality, and he wrapped up victory in the following frame.
Burden potted an excellent red but missed a brown when attempting to get back to the reds. O’Sullivan pounced in ruthless fashion as he made a difficult table look simple with a break of 70.
Up next in the last 16 is a clash with Yan Bingtao who cruised to a 4-0 win over Oliver Lines.
Mark Williams, who is battling gout, appeared to be moving more freely on Wednesday and he rallied from two frames down to claim a 4-2 in over Jak Jones to set up a meeting with fellow Class of '92 legend John Higgins.

O'Sullivan completes comfortable win over Burden

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