Rising star Scott Donaldson won his first professional title by beating Graeme Dott 3-0 in the final of the BetVictor Championship League in Leicester.
Perth’s 25-year-old Donaldson took the opening frame against Dott with a break of 60, the second by clearing from yellow to pink, and the third with a 34 clearance to secure the trophy. He earns a place at the Champion of Champions event in November.
A pro since 2012, Donaldson has jumped rapidly up the rankings in recent seasons, climbing from 93rd to 24th since 2015. He has reached four ranking event semi-finals, and has now gone all the way to the title at this invitation tournament, coming through a tough Winners’ Group which included the likes of Judd Trump and Neil Robertson.
In the semi-finals, Donaldson beat Trump 3-1 with top breaks of 84 and 73 while Dott edged out Anthony McGill 3-2.
Co-incidentally, Donaldson also beat Dott in the final of Group Four last October to earn a place in the Winners’ Group. During that match he suffered from breathing difficulties so severe he feared he “might die.”
This time there were no such complications as the Scottish ace eased to victory. “It is absolutely phenomenal to win my first professional title, I was wondering when it was going to come.” said Donaldson, whose £10,000 winner’s bonus took his group earnings to £14,200 to add to the £6,500 he had acquired in winning Group Four.
“I made a really good break in the first frame and nicked the second on the colours. I made two good pressure clearances to win the last couple of frames which was amazing.
“Now I know I can win tournaments. It is a mindset thing more than anything else – I know how well I can play, I just need to tighten up with my cue ball control.
“The turning point was when I beat Neil Robertson in my last group match because if I didn’t, I was out. It was good because I knew what I needed to do and how I had to play against Neil and then Judd. It set me up brilliantly for the final. I was full of confidence, hit the ball well and played some good stuff.
“The Champion of Champions is such a great event to be in, I don’t care how you get in it, so that is brilliant and I am really looking forward to it.”
Judd Trump 1-3 Scott Donaldson
56-41, 14-84 (84), 47-51, 0-80 (73)
Graeme Dott 3-2 Anthony McGill
49-74 (53), 107-0 (99), 38-99 (69), 57-45, 64-15
Scott Donaldson 3–0 Graeme Dott
61-0 (60), 61-50, 70-58