Ronnie O'Sullivan turns down 147 during loss to Ding Junhui

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Ronnie O'Sullivan bowed out of the Betfred World Championship at the hands of Ding Junhui on Wednesday, but not before surprising the Crucible crowd by appearing to deliberately avoid a 147 break.

The five-time champion had previously turned down a maximum at last year's Welsh Open, after finding out that the prize money available for the feat was £12,000, and his disdain looked to be in evidence once again as he turned up his nose at a potential £15,000 windfall.

O'Sullivan, who 20 years ago pocketed £165,000 for a World Championship 147, seemed to deliberately play for the pink after taking 12 reds and blacks, clearing the table perfectly thereafter.

His 146 was still only the third such break in the tournament's history and reduced his deficit at the time to 11-9, but Ding held on and took the match 13-10 to set up a meeting with Mark Selby in the semifinals.

China's leading player finished off the match with an ice-cool 117, his third century of the match.

But O'Sullivan's avoidance of the prize money was the biggest talking point of the encounter.

"Let's just say I don't think he was giving it 110 per cent," said BBC commentator and seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry of O'Sullivan's efforts to get on the black for a 13th time.