RICKY Walden’s ‘unbelievable’ display of sportsmanship ended his chances at The Masters.
The Chester potter’s first-round clash with his good friend Shaun Murphy on Tuesday was delicately poised when his moment of honesty occurred.
Using the rest to bridge over the pink ball, Walden brushed the black with his shirt so lightly that neither the referee nor the TV cameras picked it up.
But the world number 13 called the foul on himself, allowing world number four and last year’s Masters runner-up Murphy to win the penultimate frame and take the match 6-4.
Former world champion Murphy, 30, said: “To call a foul on himself that no-one saw was just unbelievable.”
Walden, 30, blamed his defeat in the opening round of the big Alexandra Palace event on his own performance.
Walden, who won the Wuxi Classic title earlier this season, said: “I touched the ball with my shirt, I felt it and called it on myself, it’s just one of those things. It’s hard to take any consolation when you have played as poorly as that.”
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