Snooker News: Adam Duffy is back on tour after not touching a cue in a year

2017 World Snooker Championship - Day 1

Adam Duffy is back for a third spell on the pro tour (Picture: Getty Images)

Adam Duffy surprised himself getting through Q School and back onto the main tour after almost giving up on snooker and only joining the event at the last minute.

The 33-year-old has been on the professional circuit twice before, although his biggest day likely came as an amateur when he defeated Ding Junhui in the first round of the 2015 British Championship.

He’s been an amateur again since 2018, but he hasn’t spent the last four years competing, having pretty much given up the game after missing the July 2020 return to the Tour.

Losing in the Challenge Tour playoff finals was too much for Duffy and he forgot about snooker and instead focused on bricklaying.

“I lost to Allan Taylor in the playoff finals and it blew my mind because I literally gave it my all,” said Duffy “I wanted to do what I’m doing now and have two solid years, no work, and see where I get.

“I put my cue away for two years after that. I literally haven’t touched it for about a year and then I had a knock and I was like, ‘I’m fine.’ But I work just as well as I play. I’m a bricklayer and I play billiards in between.

“I didn’t even want to do it, I was literally sponsored two hours before the deadline or I wouldn’t do it. But the guy sponsored me, so I figured I better practice. Chesterfield businessman John Tomkins, what a generous man, paid my admission and I figured I’d better get my cue out. Unbelievable.’

Things will turn around again for Duffy as he will now forget the bricklaying craft and focus fully on his cueing while trying his best at snooker, something he hasn’t had in his previous stints on tour.

“This has got to take two years now, see what I can do,” he said. “I don’t think you can work Mondays and play Ronnie on Tuesdays, can you?

“I think I have my chance now. I told myself I’ve been on the road for two years, I’ve done it, so the fuck sum it up. Don’t come halfway through the season and be like, “I wish I’d practiced more.” That’s bothered me in the past.

“I just treated it like a hobby and not a job. It’s that easy to do. I only had a few hours before a game. It doesn’t work

“I spoke to my father because I work with him. I said: ‘I’ll work and then have a week off before a tournament’, but that’s not possible. This week isn’t enough for me to beat the players who play all day every day, that’s just a fact.

2017 World Snooker Championship - Day 1

Duffy has done a lot more masonry than pot balls in the last two years (Picture: Getty Images)

With full focus on the game, Duffy is confident of success, saying: “I can make the top 32, I believe in myself so much.”

But even with that return to pro status, some of the Chesterfield man will miss bricklaying as he re-engages with the mental turmoil of touring life.

“I’m going back to work on Monday, I need the money but I won’t be there after that,” Duffy said after getting through Q School.

“I love it, I love it. It’s such a relief because it’s so mentally draining and at work you know what you’re doing. It’s a relief from the pressure of this game.

“The mental pressure of this game is appalling, awful, it’s just disgusting, it really is. But we fought our way through it, I’ll be back in two years if I have to.’

The snooker tour is indeed mentally taxing but after surviving the grueling drudgery of Q School, Duffy has shown he has the willpower to deal with the fight.

Trying to enjoy the junk, coming up with a game plan, and trying to relieve the pressure are useful tactics, as is something to help you sleep before that all-important final round.

“I slept like a log! Two glasses of wine and I was out, bosh,” Duffy said of the night before his final game. “It’s a long week!

“If I had lost today I would have been back in two days and I was just scared, absolutely scared of coming back. Stephen Hallworth was at the next table and I knew I was going to play him in the final event. He lost and I thought, “He’s lost, I’m going to fucking lose, what am I doing to myself?”

“It’s absolutely awful. You feel like you can’t calm down, it’s so hard to play well. I had a century first game but other than that I think my highest break was 45. You’re just doing what you can to try and win a frame. You have to accept that it will be like this.

Duffy picked up impressive wins over Michael Georgiou and Daniel Wells at Q School (Image: Getty Images)

“It struck me that in my first game against Luke Pinches, it’s not just about taking breaks, it’s just accepting that it’s going to suck, it’s going to suck, and just go for it.

‘I am proud. I said to my buddy, “You know what, I’ve really enjoyed this week.” Because I just came in and figured I’ll do it if I have to. If you come up with a game plan, you have half a chance to win. Mentally you are ready for it. Instead of just showing up and thinking, how is that supposed to work?’

That last game was a 4-3 win over Duffy’s good pal Daniel Wells, a close friend who would be attending the Welshman’s wedding just days after the game – if he’s still invited.

“There will be a bit of relief, right now I don’t really want to celebrate because I feel sorry for Danny,” Duffy said after the win.

“I’m going to his wedding next week too, damn it’s gonna be a laugh! I might not be invited now. I hope he comes on tour because he’s such a good player.”

MORE : ‘Just hit me’ – Fear left Zak Surety, who dreaded snooker matches and feared for his future

MORE : Aaron Hill feels he’s found the mentality to fulfill his immense snooker potential

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snooker Snooker News: Adam Duffy is back on tour after not touching a cue in a year

Nate Jones

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