John Higgins declared his retirement in 2024 for this reason

Four-time world champion Higgins, 48, converted 15 reds and blacks but overhit his approach to the yellow.

The golden ball has been brought in for the Saudi Arabia event, featuring the world’s leading players.

If a player completes a 147, they have the chance to make a record 167 break.

The golden ball – worth 20 points – sits on the top cushion throughout the frame for as long as a player can still complete the maximum break and is removed when the opportunity is over.

On the opening day of the tournament, Scotland’s Higgins looked on course to create history in the first frame of his second-round match against Wales’ Mark Williams.

But the former world number one was unable to cut in the yellow, smiling and shaking his head as he finished with a break of 120.

Higgins, who lifted the world title in 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011, went on to beat Williams 4-2, setting up a quarter-final match against English world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan.

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The event features the world’s top 10 players – headed by seven-time world champion O’Sullivan – plus two local wildcards.

In the other first-round match played on Monday, England’s Ali Carter held off a fightback from China’s Ding Junhui to win 4-3 and reach the last eight.

Higgins and Ding, ranked ninth and 10th in the world, started in the preliminary round and began with whitewash wins over Omar Alajlani of Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s Ali Alobaidli.

Higgins potted 15 reds and blacks before running out of position on the yellow during his second-round match against fellow veteran Mark Williams.

The Scot, 48, overcame that disappointment to win the match 4-2, sealing victory at 2.30am Riyadh time

That set up a quarter-final against Ronnie O’Sullivan on Tuesday.

The tournament features the world’s top 10 players plus two local wildcards.

Higgins was in action against Mark Williams in the second round on Monday night at Boulevard City.

He won 4-2 to set up a quarter-final with Ronnie O’Sullivan on Tuesday but the Scot hit headlines after his close effort to bag a maximum break.

The inaugural tournament has been given a new twist following the introduction of a ‘Golden Ball’, which is worth 20 points.

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