Despite making the perfect start to the season, Scotland’s top amateur snooker player Craig MacGillivray insists he’s not tempted to have another shot at success in the professional game.
The Granton ace has finished No.1 in the Scottish rankings for the last two seasons and his bid to make it three in a row got off to a flyer as he won the opening event of the Main Tour Series by defeating Glasgow’s Gary Thomson 5-3 at the Lucky Break Snooker Club in Clydebank.
MacGillivray now earns his living as a taxi driver in the Capital after packing in the professional tour just under nine years ago. However, despite a revival of fortunes on the green baize, he is not willing to entertain the idea of turning pro again. “I haven’t even given it a thought,” he said. “I look forward to tournaments now as there is not the same type of pressure you get when you are playing the game for a living.
“I have a family to support and bills to pay and when I turn up at a tournament now it is as a hobby rather than trying to earn a living. I am enjoying my snooker again and I have managed to get into a winning habit which has given me a lot of confidence going into matches.
“I have a busy life but I am really happy with how things are going for me at the moment both on and off the snooker table.
“The amateur circuit is giving me an opportunity to still play snooker competitively whilst also giving me the chance to play abroad at international level as well. My little boy is also growing up fast now and I love spending time as much time as I can with him and my partner Sami when I am not out in the taxi.”
MacGillivray came through four rounds to reach the Main Tour event final.
After opening with a nervy 3-2 win on the black against Glasgow’s John Bennett, MacGillivray defeated Glasgow’s Jim Daly 3-0 to reach the quarter-finals. In those he faced up-and-coming player Dylan Craig but beat him 3-1 before facing Paul McPhillips in the last four in what turned out to be another nail-biting affair.
The semi-final was poised at 2-2 and MacGillivray needed a snooker to stay in the tournament, but, after securing that, he cleared the table to defeat the former professional player on the black ball.
In the final MacGillivray admitted that some good fortune had also gone his way. After winning the first frame, he fluked a pot in the second before making a clearance of 59 to win the frame. He then won the next to take a 3-0 lead. Although Thomson got back into the match, MacGillivray was not caught.
MacGillivray said “I was a bit fortunate to win the second frame but overall I felt that I was in control of the match. Although it wasn’t my best performance, it is pleasing to get off to a winning start considering I have not practised as much as I would have liked to. I will be putting in a lot of practice now as the World Amateur Championship is coming up next month and I am hoping that the extra practice I put in for it will set me up nicely for another good season.”