Player reported missing

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The Independent Online
SNOOKER

Roger Garrett went missing hours before he was to take part in the International Open at Bournemouth yesterday.

Garrett, from Harlow in Essex, was last seen leaving his hotel in Bournemouth at 6am. He has now been officially listed as missing by Dorset police, who were called in by worried tournament officials.

The 28-year-old, ranked 96th in the world, left his snooker cue, dress suit and passport in his hotel room but one of his holdalls is missing. He was due to meet Dave Harold, of Stoke, at 12.30pm in the first round of the tournament at the Bournemouth International Centre.

The tournament director, Ann Yates, said: "We are very concerned. We had no option but to scratch him from the tournament once he did not appear for his game."

His manager, Fred Collins, said: "We have checked all the local hospitals and the police are now looking for him. This is completely out of character. Roger is normally very dependable and was looking forward to his match."

Ronnie O'Sullivan, who at 19 became the youngest winner of the Benson and Hedges Masters on Sunday, carried on where he left off at Wembley with a 5-3 first-round win over the Scot Graeme Dott.

O'Sullivan, who overcame another Scot, John Higgins, in the Masters final, compiled breaks of 85, 68 and 51 on his way to victory. "I put everything into this match because I am now concentrating on ranking points and moving up the list," he said.

O'Sullivan has overtaken Thailand's James Wattana and moved into third place in the provisional world rankings. "There is still an awful long way to go to catch Steve Davis, who is second, while Stephen Hendry is probably out of touch at the top of the rankings," O'Sullivan added.

O'Sullivan, who threatened to retire from the game after being knocked out of the United Kingdom Championships at Preston in November, said he now regretted that outburst.

"My mind was in a bit of a state at the time and, looking back, I do regret saying that," he said. "There are times in this game when you seriously doubt your ability but after winning the Masters all thoughts of retirement have gone out of the window."

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