UK Championship 2016: Ronnie O'Sullivan says pro tour should be cut

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Some players can't play - Ronnie O'Sullivan
Betway UK Championship
Venue: York Barbican Dates: 22 November to 4 December
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Connected TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website and app from Saturday, 26 November. TV times and channels

Five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan says snooker's professional tour should be cut and "the tail is wagging the dog" after a fourth win saw him reach the UK Championship quarter-finals.

The world number eight overcame a testing start to beat Wales' Matthew Stevens, the 2003 winner, 6-2.

England's O'Sullivan had lost only one frame in his three previous wins at this year's tournament.

"There are a lot of players I watch out there and they can't play," he said.

"That's no disrespect, they just can't play. They are never going to be good enough.

"With too many 128 events, I always think that is quantity over quality. We have a lot of quantity, but very few quality events."

Sixteen of the 19 ranking tournaments involve 128 players, with three further high-profile invitational events involving just the top players.

Earlier in the week O'Sullivan said snooker was becoming a "nothing type sport" and compared it to a "car-boot sale", while other sports like golf and Formula 1 were more akin to "shopping in Harrods".

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Five great shots as Ronnie O'Sullivan continues his fine form at the UK Championship

Top tournaments for top players

"When you are trying to cater for 128 it is maybe holding back the sport when it could maybe do better if they thought about more tournaments for the top 32 or top 16," he added.

"Big promoters would generally not want to be messing around with too many people who don't pull in the crowds or the viewing figures.

"There should be more for the top players. Top players should be rewarded, have more classy events to play in and should be treated differently.

"You need to look after your top players. It's like the tail wagging the dog in a way."

O'Sullivan, who faces either fellow Englishman Liam Highfield or Stevens' countryman Mark Williams in Friday's quarter-finals, scored a rapid century to open his last-16 victory on Wednesday.

And although Stevens responded with a 74, the 'Rocket' stole a crucial third frame and scored three more 50s to win through.

Murphy rules

World number six Shaun Murphy beat China's Zhou Yuelong 6-2, hitting one ton and three half centuries to win the last four frames.

World champion Mark Selby and Hong Kong's Marco Fu both progressed without much trouble in the evening session.

Selby, the 2012 champion, lost the first frame but thrashed China's Zhang Anda 6-1, while world number 15 Fu thumped 21-year-old English outsider Oliver Lines 6-0.

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