Jordan Brown says Ronnie O’Sullivan often “lets himself down” with his comments, but admits he has changed his opinion of the snooker legend after he praised the Northern Irishman for the way he beat him in the Welsh Open final.
Brown was ranked 81 in the world before the event, and went all the way to pull off a shock victory, earning what he’s described as life-changing money as a result.
But he had been riled by remarks last year by the six-time world champion, who criticised the lower ranked players by saying he would have to “lose an arm and a leg to drop out of the world’s top 50”.
Turkish Masters joins World Snooker Tour circuit, but when does season begin?
'I have had some dark days' - Brown on his journey to Welsh Open title
After his defeat at the weekend, though, O’Sullivan acknowledged the man who is known as the ‘Antrim Ferrari’, calling him a “proper player” who deserved his win.
- 'Not many beat me when I’m playing alright' – O’Sullivan salutes Brown
- 'I have had some dark days' - Brown on his journey to beating O'Sullivan
- 'I hope I haven't upset Ding' – O'Sullivan sorry for bout of rest rage during dramatic win
“He’s the greatest of all time and his speech there at the end meant so much to me, coming from him," Brown told Metro.co.uk.
You could tell he genuinely meant it. We all know what Ronnie’s like, he’s a bit temperamental, but for someone like him to do that there is unbelievable.
“It (his previous comments) did annoy me, but it just spurred me on because I just wasn’t having that.
“I’ve definitely proved him wrong, that I’m not a numpty. I’ve definitely proved a lot, not just to him, but to everyone on tour, people in general, that I can play this game and to a very high level. I’ve had so many messages from my fellow competitors and it means so much to me.
I’ve been very critical of Ronnie, especially recently because I’ve always looked up to him and when he’s making comments like he did, you think to yourself, What’s he like? Why is he getting on like that? He’s not proving himself to anybody, he should be the role model, the benchmark for everybody else. I just think he lets himself down.
“But I’ve sort of changed my opinion of him today, you could tell that was genuine at the end, so thank you to him.”
'A proper player' - O'Sullivan lauds Brown after losing final
Brown overturned odds of 750/1 to claim victory at the ranking tournament, securing prize money of £70,000 - an amount he could previously only dream of, having come close to walking away from the sport completely and working in a petrol station in his twenties.
“It makes you even more determined because I’ve hit rock bottom at times in the past”, he said.
I was thinking to myself, ‘my God, I’m going to be sitting next Friday with five figures in my account!’ - I’ve never seen that amount of money before. It’s going to take a while to sink in because I’m not going to know what to do with it, it’s so much money.
“It’s going to set me up for a long time, I’m one of those people that will be responsible, investments and stuff like that. I’m absolutely not going wild, I’ll be very good at looking after it.”
'I looked at O'Sullivan differently after that' - Dott on surprise phone call
Why Selby’s unapologetic pursuit of greatness gives snooker headache