Lines chasing O’Sullivan prize and chance of television spotlight

Leeds snooker player Peter Lines
Leeds snooker player Peter Lines
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Leeds snooker star Peter Lines hopes to pocket the biggest match of his career when he cues off at the Coral UK Championship tomorrow.

For if the 44-year-old world No 61 can beat Joe Swail in his first-round match at the Barbican, he is due to face five-time w orld champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in front of the BBC cameras in a primetime slot on Sunday evening.

Lines reached the UK quarter-finals back in 2009, arguably his best finish in a major tournament in over 20 years as a professional.

But to face O’Sullivan – one of snooker’s all-time greats – would surpass even that feat, believes Lines.

“I am looking forward to playing in York, it’s such a good venue, I have got a very tough draw though,” he said.

“We will both be really desperate to try and win, the prize being playing Ronnie on TV on Sunday night. I would love to play in that match.

“Some players would dread it, but to play Ronnie on the BBC would be fantastic.”

Lines will be joined in York by teenage son Oliver, who is swiftly climbing the rankings on his first season on the professional Tour.

“Oliver has a tough draw too (he plays China’s Yu Delu), but his reward for winning would be Maguire,” said Lines. “We both have tough games, but great rewards if we can win.

“I will definitely watch his match, but he doesn’t watch me. My matches take too long, he gets bored easy. It’s like ‘dad, come on’. His evening match will probably finish before me, and I start at 2.30.”

Lines is ranked 61 in the world, but his 19-year-old son is quickly closing the gap, at No 78, thanks to wins over the likes of world champion Mark Selby in the International Championship qualifiers.

Not that Lines is worried about being overtaken by Oliver in the rankings.

“It’s only a matter of time, the sooner the better,” accepted Lines, with the pair based at Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds. “I have always said he was going to be good – but people are always a bit sceptical because I’m his dad – but a lot of the top players have sat up and taken notice too. When he beat Selby, he was so complimentary to him.

“Oliver has had a great season, but he’s working hard. He’s beaten top players and wants to emulate them,” he added.

Fellow Leeds potter David Grace is also in action tomorrow, when he takes on China’s Liang Wenbo.

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