Sean Trivass spoke to new IPA Professional 8 Ball Masters Champion 2012 Lee “The Tower” Clough about his recent well-earned victory
Last weekend saw an inspired line up of players headed off to the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester for the £10,000 first prize on offer for the winner of the Professional Masters, and it was Blackpool player Lee Clough who walked away with the prize, winning the final 9-7 beating Chris Melling in a nip and tuck final, that went as near to the wire as it could in the small hours of Monday morning.After the adrenaline had gone I asked Lee what he thought – of the venue, the competition, the table, and the atmosphere – the whole weekend I suppose and this is what he told me.
“This was my first visit to the South West Snooker Academy and the venue is just different class, by far the best arena I have ever played in” Lee told me, and he is rather hoping they have a few more events there in the future. “Totally first class and ideal for televised events” he continued “and I look forward to returning soon”.
When asked about the calibre of opposition he told me “there were only one or two missing really, Mick Hill obviously after he pulled out with a neck injury but most of the top players were there. It was as strong as it could be and I wasn’t very happy drawing Gareth Potts (World Number One) in the first round and I didn’t exactly have an easy draw all the way through including Chris Melling in the final”. Lee was particularly proud to win the first TV event for a few years and really didn’t think he I could win on an eight-foot table but “after an energy drink and a chocolate bar, I kept pulling out enough to fall over the finishing line”. In the final itself Lee felt he “started badly going 2-0 down and then missed a chance in the third frame, and I started to think about avoiding the whitewash and just wanted to win a frame to kick-start myself. At 7-5 down I really feared the worst but I managed to hang in there and kept digging, putting in a massive effort to not give in”.
As for the new DPT table with the grey Strachan cloth and Aramith balls, the cloth “couldn’t have been any quicker and you can easily lose the white, while quite hard shots are inclined to slide a bit, but if you are cueing well then everything was perfect, and as good as anything I have ever played on”.
“The atmosphere was good in all the games I played so I was lucky there, but especially the final, with Chris’ rapid finishes encouraging the crowd who just loved it and there was plenty of applause for both of us which made it all the more enticing”.
Lastly, Lee would like to thank his sponsors Hurt Plant Hire as without their help he would not have been at the tournament, and assured me that the winnings would be well spent – on a fantastic and well deserved family holiday – well done Lee, but leave your cue at home!