Peter Lines had an eventful 2016/17 campaign, knocking defending champion Neil Robertson out of the UK Championship and becoming World Seniors Champion, all as an amateur.
The Yorkshireman has now regained his professional status and is looking to kick on with his form in the new season. We caught up with him to see how he feels about the year ahead…
Peter, you’ve come off the back of a campaign as an amateur that was more eventful than many professionals have! You must have been delighted with what you achieved…
“It was brilliant. I think the thing that I normally struggle with is the fact that I don’t play enough. However, because I was playing in all of the amateur events and the main tour ones I could qualify for, I was getting a lot more snooker than I usually do. It paid off because you need to be playing lots to compete. I also think that as an amateur, I didn’t put quite so much pressure on myself.”
There were some fantastic moments during the season: beating Neil Robertson in York, going on a run at World Championship qualifying and winning the World Seniors title. What was the highlight for you?
“I really enjoyed beating Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the first round of the World Championship. It was a great match and it was for a lot of prize money, but for me the highlight was winning the World Seniors. Although a lot of the guys don’t play as much now they are still massive names. I played really well and didn’t lose a frame. I’ve never won anything as prestigious as that and it really meant a lot to me. To beat Stephen Hendry along the way was especially pleasing. Anyone who knows anything about Snooker realises how good he was. Any sort of victory over him is good and I beat him 3-0, so it was on merit. The only problem with me getting back on the tour is that I can’t defend that title now.”
Being back on the tour means that you will once again be travelling with your son Oliver as two fully fledged professionals. You have never played him in a professional match before, are you looking forward to the possibility of facing each other?
“I think now we have another two years it will happen eventually. I’d rather it happened soon and we could get it out of the way and stop people talking about it. We are both playing well, even though he is playing better. I think it would be a competitive game.”
“To be honest, until it happens I don’t know how I’ll feel. There is a chance it could happen in India as, if we both win our matches in qualifying then we would face each other. I really hope we can both win our matches and then make it happen.”
How proud does it make you to both be playing on the World Snooker Tour at the same time as each other?
“I have to say I am really proud of him. He is a good lad and he really works hard. I think he expected to progress slightly further than he did last year, but snooker is a tough game and it can take time. He’s not Ronnie O’Sullivan in the sense that he isn’t super natural and he needs to work hard at his game, but that is exactly what he does. He really puts in the hours and I am supremely proud of him, both on and off the table. I’m biased as I’m his dad. But if you ask any of the players they will say what a nice guy he is. I’m hopeful he can go all the way in the sport.”
You regained your place on the World Snooker Tour by coming through the EBSA Playoffs earlier this year. Do you look at the likes of Mark King and Anthony Hamilton winning their maiden titles last season and think you have a chance at claiming your first ranking trophy?
“I’m hoping so. I don’t see why not. If you had asked me five years ago if I could win a competition I would have said no. But now because there are more events, I think there is scope for a lot of players to win and I hope I can include myself in that.
“Winning the seniors has made a massive difference. It just gave me that shot in the arm that you need every now and again. It’s alright doing it in the club and in practice but if you aren’t doing in the match arena your confidence can go.”