Snooker: Teen star Oliver joins dad on Tour

Peter and Oliver Lines
Peter and Oliver Lines
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Peter Lines will jet out to China this weekend with teenage son Oliver but this is no holiday,

For the Leeds duo are competing in the same ranking tournament for the first time, snooker’s Wuxi Classic, after 18-year-old Oliver won his first match as a professional snooker player in last month’s qualifiers.

It means the teenager, the current European Under-21 champion, will join dad Peter – a veteran in the game for over 20 years – in the first round in China.

Oliver beat the experienced Dave Harold 5-4 to break his duck as a professional in his first season on the Tour.

“We were proud of Oliver, but it was very nerve-wracking watching him,” admitted 44-year-old Peter.

“He did really well. Dave is a really experienced campaigner, but still a very good player.

“The good thing was the game went very tactical, which suited Dave, but Oliver really competed with him in that department. I didn’t think he would be able to, but he did.

“It’s worse watching than playing.

“I don’t sit near the table, I try and sit as far away as possible so he can’t sit me.

“I don’t really offer him any coaching, the only thing I advise him is his attitude.

“I don’t like kids with bad attitudes. I don’t like kids who throw their cue all over the place, and moan about everything.

“I have always done that (advised him), and Oliver has got a pretty good attitude at the table. He looks very professional, so I just let him get on with it.

“He plays a different game to me, so there’s no point me telling him what he can and can’t do.

“He’s a lot more attacking. It’s different for me, he has no scars from missing shots, or thinking about missing shots when you get a chance.

“He goes for his shots, if he gets it he gets it, and if he doesn’t he accepts the consequences. You look at things differently when you get older.”

The duo will jet out to China on Sunday, where they compete in a PTC event, before the first ranking tournament of the season, the Wuxi Classic.

“It’s the first tournament of the year and it’s always an exciting time,” said Peter. “The fact we have both qualified is even better.

“It will be strange going out there together, but to be honest I probably won’t see a right lot of him. He has his own circle of friends, no-one likes hanging around with their dads at that age do they?

“He comes to me when he wants money, but that’s about it really,” joked Peter.

“We are travelling out together, it depends how we do whether we travel back together.”

Oliver - a former English Under-14 champion - is sponsored by York-based Bering Boutique and trains at Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.

After his moral-boosting win over Harold, Oliver beat fellow Yorkshireman Paul Pickering in the opening round of qualifiers for the Australian Open, only to lose out 5-3 to highly-rated Jack Lisowski and miss out on a trip Down Under next month.

Peter – who thrashed Liu Chuang 5-0 is his qualifying round win to reach China – believes his son has the talent and graft required to be a success on the demanding professional snooker circuit.

“He has been winning competitions at every level he has played at,” said Peter, ranked No 61 in the world.

“Obviously this is now a massive step-up into the pro game, but there’s no reason why he can’t take that forward.

“He was English Under-14 champion, he’s the European Under-21 champion, every level he’s played at so far he has found a way to win and hopefully he can keep that going.

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