Cap­i­tal­iz­ing on op­por­tu­nity

McGee wins Cana­dian am­a­teur 9-ball cham­pi­onship

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY CHARLES REID

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.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Char­lot­te­town’s Kevin McGee dis­plays his tro­phy and cer­tifi­cate won at the Cana­dian am­a­teur 9-ball cham­pi­onship re­cently in Saint John, N.B.

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