Mark Williams: Triple world champion 'hates' snooker, prefers golf

Mark Williams
Mark Williams has won the UK Championship twice - in 1999 and 2002.
Betway UK Championship
Venue: York Barbican Dates: 26 November-8 December
Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 30 November

Former world snooker champion Mark Williams says he "hates" the sport.

Speaking after beating Scotland's Fraser Patrick 6-2 in the first round of the UK Snooker Championship in York, he said he prefers playing golf.

"I really struggled but somehow he struggled more than me and made it easy for me on a couple of frames," said the 44-year-old.

Williams, who won his third World Championship title in May 2018, has not won a ranking event this season.

Currently ranked third in the World, his best performance was in September's China Open where he reached the final losing 10-9 to Shaun Murphy.

Asked about his season he replied: "It's going all right, I'm enjoying myself when I'm on the golf course."

When pushed about his snooker he responded: "Hate it. I'm just enjoying play golf more."

The double UK Championship winner was also dismissive of his ambition at the York Barbican for the next fortnight.

"It's going to struggle. I've got no expectations, if I play like that in the next round I'll get beat and I'll be home on Sunday or Monday," said Williams.

Williams has in the past talked about retiring from the sport, including an interview with the BBC in 2017.

One year later however he went on to become world champion again after a gap of 15 years, and created further headlines by holding his post final press conference naked.

Williams is not the only Welsh sports personality with a keen enthusiasm for golf.

Wales footballer Gareth Bale has been accused of preferring a round of 18 holes to playing football.

Bale is allegedly nicknamed 'The Golfer' by some of his Real Madrid team-mates and his love of the game has led to critical newspaper headlines and supportive chants from Wales fans.