STEPHEN Maguire has won the first UK PTC event of the season but was made to do it the hard way after an impressive performance from youngster Jack Lisowski.
This year’s World Championship semi-finalist beat the 21-year-old 4-3 in the final at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester to earn a winning cash prize of £10,000 and 2,000 ranking points.
Lisowski, though, had a golden opportunity to win his first professional title in the crucial deciding frame when he was down to the final colours. Just needing to pot a few more colours, he missed the yellow from its spot before the Glaswegian won a vital safety battle before clearing up to take the title.
Losing right at the end like that was a bitter blow for Lisowski – regarded by many as one of the snooker’s future stars – who emjoyed a wonderful few days in Gloucester after recording superb wins over his flatmate and world-number-2 Judd Trump and two times World Championship winner Mark Williams to help him reach his second PTC event final.
After the match, Maguire told World Snooker he was delighted to win and his victory has come as part of a new personal strategy.
“I came to this event with a different attitude,” he said. “I was willing to battle and play a safety game if I needed to. This season I’m going to try not to push the boat out too much. If it doesn’t work then next year I’ll go back to going for everything.
“I always start the season the same way, knowing that if I can get my name on a trophy I’ll have done well. I don’t count this in the same way as a ranking event but it gives me confidence and there are plenty of big tournaments to try to win.
“He (Lisowski) was a bit further away from the yellow than he wanted to be, but he still should have potted it. Lucky for me he missed.”
Other players to have impressed in UK PTC 1 were semi-finalists Mark Williams and Andrew Higginson. Amateurs Andrew Pagett and Allan Taylor had a weekend to remember by reaching the last 16 stage and world-number-53 Alan McManus had a good run making the quarter-final line-up.