Capitalizing on opportunity
McGee wins Canadian amateur 9-ball championship
Kevin McGee’s secret weapon to winning the Canadian amateur 9-ball championship recently in Saint John, N.B., may have been more brain than brawn.
A calm state of mind and a friend in his corner kept him grounded among the noisy crowd supporting finals opponent Aldie Doucette, especially when the hometown favourite drew ahead of McGee 7-6 at the break.
Doucette had spotted the Island shooter a 6-4 early edge in the first-to-11-wins match.
“Momentum was going his way. I had a friend there from Newfoundland . . . who told me to keep bearing down. (Doucette) made a mistake and I capitalized on that mistake,” said McGee, a Cornwall native who now lives in Charlottetown. “It’s sunk in (that I won), but I’m still enjoying the victory.”
McGee turned things around to 10-8 then polished off Doucette in the next game. For his efforts, McGee earned a snazzy trophy, a gold ring (expected to arrive in the next few weeks), $1,400 and a chance to play pro billiard players in Quebec City next year.
For McGee, who said he didn’t practice much before the championship, most of the 64-man, double-elimination tourney was spent in ‘the zone.’
“I didn’t fight myself. I wasn’t missing much. I felt I was really stroking the cue ball really well,” he said. “At that point I was just having fun.”
The tourney on the mainland was McGee’s third amateur.
And it almost didn’t happen.
McGee played little before the event, but shot a few loose games with another friend, Andrew Sprague, and those games spurred him on.
“I got the desire back. He made me enjoy it again,” said McGee.
Next up is the Maritime championship on Halifax in November, something McGee’s familiar with after winning the 2013 Maritime 8-ball championship.
He was part of the Island squad that won the 2014 Canadian Cue Sport national 8/9-ball championship. That group also included Kris Noye, Chad Abbott, Blair Affleck and Owen Fitzpatrick.
Those are things to celebrate, but right now McGee’s thinking about staring down players who make a living at stick next year in Quebec.
“I’m looking forward to see how I play against the pros.”
Charlottetown’s Kevin McGee displays his trophy and certificate won at the Canadian amateur 9-ball championship recently in Saint John, N.B.