O'Sullivan wins 5th snooker world title

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Sheffield, England • Ronnie O'Sullivan won his fifth world championship snooker title Monday, beating fellow Englishman Barry Hawkins 18-12 in his first tournament since returning from a long sabbatical.

He became the first player to successfully defend the title since Stephen Hendry in 1996. His previous victories came in 2001, '04, '08 and last year.

He spent the past year out of the game to deal with personal issues. He announced in February he would be defending his title.

The only players to have won snooker's top prize more times are Hendry (seven), Steve Davis and Ray Reardon (both with six).

O'Sullivan has never lost a final. Hawkins was playing in his first world final.