James Cahill (snooker player)
|Born||27 December 1995|
|Nickname||The Giant Killer|
|Highest ranking||76 (December 2014 and February–March 2015)|
|90 (as of 4 May 2021)|
2014 Riga Open
|Best ranking finish||Last 16 (2014 UK Championship, 2019 Indian Open and 2019 World Championship)|
Cahill first turned professional in 2013, aged 17, after winning the European Under 21 Championships, but returned to amateur status in 2017.
As an amateur, Cahill reached the main stage of the 2019 World Snooker Championship, becoming the first amateur player ever to qualify for the event. At the tournament, he defeated world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan 10–8 in their first round match. O'Sullivan was the second former world number one Cahill had defeated in the 2018–19 snooker season, after his victory over Mark Selby at the 2018 UK Championship. Cahill qualified for a new two-year tour card via the one-year money-list after the 2018/2019 season. He rejoined the professional tour in June 2019, only to be relegated again in June 2021.
Cahill was born on 27 December 1995 to Maria and Peter Cahill. Cahill was an amateur player until 2013, before he entered the 2013 EBSA European Under-21 Snooker Championships, as the fourteenth seed. At 17, he defeated Joseph McLaren and Ross Muir 4–3, Elliot Slessor 4–1 and Darryl Hill in the semi-final to play sixteen year old Ashley Carty in the final. The final, played as a best of 11 match saw Cahill whitewash Carty 6–0 to win the tournament. Having won the event, Cahill gained a two-year tour card for the 2013–14 and 2014–15 snooker seasons, allowing him to play in all professional tournaments. Cahill's whitewash was the only ever occurrence of a whitewash in the final of the European Under-21 Championships.
Cahill managed to win just three matches during the 2013/2014 season, and ended his debut season on tour ranked world number 117. Cahill played in the main stages in the 2013 UK Championship and the 2013 Welsh Open, but did not progress past the first round in either competition, losing to Joe Perry 6–3, and Ken Doherty 4–0 respectively. Cahill's second season saw him improve his results as he twice reached the last 32 in the minor-ranking European Tour events. At 18-years-old, he then went on his best run to date in a ranking event during the 2014 UK Championship. He won comfortably in the first round, beating veteran Mark King 6–0 and then saw off former Welsh Open finalist Andrew Higginson 6–4. Cahill faced world number three Ding Junhui, a player who had won five ranking titles the previous season, and raced into a 5–1 lead. Ding won three frames in a row and needed three snookers in the next frame, which he got when Cahill left a . Cahill responded by taking the deciding frame to record the biggest victory of his career up to that point.
In the last 16 of the championships, Cahill commented he "couldn't believe how badly [he] had played" after his tournament ended with a 2–6 loss to Mark Davis. Cahill would have a poor end to the season as he lost seven out of eight matches after this which would have relegated him from the tour as he finished 85th in the world rankings. However, his performance in the European Tour events saw him finish high enough on the European Order of Merit to retain his spot on the tour for the following two seasons. In the 2015–16 season, Cahill failed to win more than one match at an event, winning just five matches all year. He competed at the main stage of the 2015 UK Championship, where he lost to Anthony McGill 6–3. Appearing at the 2016 Welsh Open, he won his first round match for the first time, defeating Xiao Guodong 4–1, but then lost 1–4 to Mark Davis. Cahill finished the season 110th in the rankings.
Cahill's 2016–17 season was a breakout year, where he appeared in many more main stage tournaments than any of his previous seasons. He appeared for the first time at both the 2016 Riga Masters, losing 3–4 to Zhao Xintong; and then 2016 World Open losing to Liang Wenbo 2–5. Cahill progressed to the third round of the 2016 Paul Hunter Classic by eliminating Kevin Vandevoort 4–0 and Ryan Day 4–2. In the third round, He drew world number one Mark Selby. Despite being 1–3 behind, he made two breaks above 50 to come back to tie the match at 3–3, but lost the deciding frame. The next event of the season saw him beaten 1–4 by Joe Swail in the second round of the English Open, after beating Adam Stefanow 4–3 in the opening round.
Following this, Cahill lost in the first round of five ranking events, including the UK Championship and Welsh Open. He did, however, defeat Robbie Williams and Noppon Saengkham before losing to Ken Doherty in the third round of the non-ranking one-frame Snooker Shoot-Out event. He finished the season losing in the opening round of qualification for the 2017 World Snooker Championship, losing to Robbie Williams 1–10. Having finished the season with a world ranking of 106, Cahill required a successful run in Q School at the end of the season to remain on the tour. After exiting in the opening round Andres Petrov 2–4 of the first event, He fared better at the second event, defeating Jaspal Bamotra, James Silverwood, Alex Taubman, Ashley Carty but lost 2–4 to Paul Davison to confirm his relegation from the tour.
Amateur career and World Snooker Championship
Competing as an amateur, Cahill appearing in two professional events, at the 2017 Snooker Shoot-Out, where he defeated Rory McLeod before losing to Graeme Dott, and the 2018 Gibraltar Open where he defeated Eden Sharav 4–1, before losing to Noppon Saengkham 1–4. Post-season, Cahill entered Q-School once again. He reached the fifth round of all three events. At the first event he lost to Jordan Brown 4–1, the second event, to Jamie Cope, and Kuldesh Johal 3–4 in the final event Having only reached the fifth round, he did not win a place back on tour for the next season, and returned to being an amateur player.
Cahill played the season as an amateur player, but allowed into the main stage of events through qualifying. Cahill defeated Liang Wenbo in qualifying to reach the 2018 World Open mainstage, but was defeated 4–5 by Andrew Higginson. At the dedicated Amateur qualifying event for the 2018 Paul Hunter Classic, Cahill defeated Conor Caniff 4–1 and Charlie Walters 4–2 to reach the event. However, Cahill lost in the first round once again to Niu Zhuang. Competing at the 2018 UK Championship as an amateur, Cahill defeated world number one Mark Selby 6–3 in the first round, allowing Selby just 79 points in the first three frames. After the victory, Cahill commented "the standard wasn't amazing. But to beat the world number one, such a great player, is brilliant." He then played Sunny Akani in the second round, losing 5–6.
James Cahill on defeating Ronnie O'Sullivan at the world championships.
At the 2019 World Championship, Cahill was given a qualifying wildcard spot by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, despite being an amateur. He played Andrew Higginson in the first round of qualifying, and led 7–0 and 8–2, before Higginson won 7 straight frames to lead 9–8. Cahill won the last two frames of the match to win 10–9 and progress to the second round of qualifying. He then defeated Michael Holt 10–7, to set up a final qualifying round match against fellow amateur player Michael Judge. Cahill defeated Judge 10–6 to become the first amateur player to play at the main stages of the world championships at the Crucible Theatre.
In the first round of the championship, Cahill drew world number one and five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. Cahill led 5–4 after the first session of the match and won three of the four frames at the start of the next session to lead 8–5. O'Sullivan won the following three frames to tie the match at 8–8 before Cahill won the final two frames and the match 10–8. After beating O'Sullivan, Cahill commented “I am over the moon, to beat the best player in the world and hold myself together on my Crucible debut.” The match was referred to as the "biggest shock in Crucible history" by the British Broadcasting Corporation, with Master of ceremonies Rob Walker introducing him as "the giant killer" for having defeated two world number ones as an amateur.
Following the victory, Cahill drew world number 15 Stephen Maguire in the last 16, in a best of 25 frames match. Maguire won the first two frames, before Cahill tied the match at 2–2. Maguire won the next three frames to lead 5–2, before Cahill ended the first session 3–5 behind. The pair finished the second session with two frames once again between them, after Cahill won 4 of the next 6 frames to tie the match at 7–7, but Maguire won the final two frames to lead 9–7. Cahill tied the match at 11–11, and looked to lead for the first time at 12–11, however, during his break, Cahill fouled the with his waistcoat, allowing Maguire to win the frame. Cahill, won frame 24, sending the match to a deciding frame. Maguire however, overcame in the decider.
Due to his performances (as a Q School top-up entrant) in tournaments during the 2018–19 season, Cahill secured a new two-year tour card for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons. Despite having reached the second round of the world championships, Cahill started the following season with no ranking points, not having achieved the results as a professional player.
Cahill was born in Blackpool, England, to Maria and Patrick Cahill. Both parents are former amateur snooker players, with Maria having been a highly ranked player in the 1980s. He is a nephew of seven time world champion Stephen Hendry through his mother, whose sister Mandy is Hendry's ex-wife. His mother runs a snooker club in Preston.
Cahill received a ban from driving after being found to be under the influence whilst driving in Perth, Scotland. During qualification for the 2019 World Snooker Championship, the snooker club run by his family was burgled. Despite money and valuables being stolen, Cahill's cue was left undamaged.
Performance and rankings timeline
|European Masters||Tournament Not Held||LQ||A||LQ||LQ||2R|
|English Open||Tournament Not Held||2R||A||1R||1R||1R|
|Championship League||Non-Ranking Event||RR|
|Northern Ireland Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||A||1R||1R||2R|
|Scottish Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||A||2R||2R||1R|
|World Grand Prix||NH||NR||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|Shoot-Out||Variant Format Event||3R||2R||1R||1R||1R|
|Gibraltar Open||Not Held||MR||1R||2R||2R||1R||1R|
|WST Pro Series||Tournament Not Held||2R|
|Tour Championship||Tournament Not Held||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|Former ranking tournaments|
|Wuxi Classic||LQ||LQ||Tournament Not Held|
|Australian Goldfields Open||LQ||LQ||LQ||Tournament Not Held|
|Paul Hunter Classic||Minor-Ranking Event||3R||WD||1R||NR||NH|
|Indian Open||LQ||LQ||NH||LQ||A||3R||Not Held|
|China Open||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||A||LQ||Not Held|
|China Championship||Not Held||NR||A||A||LQ||NH|
|World Open||LQ||Not Held||1R||A||1R||LQ||NH|
|Performance Table Legend|
|LQ||lost in the qualifying draw||#R||lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
|QF||lost in the quarter-finals|
|SF||lost in the semi-finals||F||lost in the final||W||won the tournament|
|DNQ||did not qualify for the tournament||A||did not participate in the tournament||WD||withdrew from the tournament|
|NH / Not Held||means an event was not held.|
|NR / Non-Ranking Event||means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.|
|R / Ranking Event||means an event is/was a ranking event.|
|MR / Minor-Ranking Event||means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.|
- It shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
- New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
- Players qualified through European Tour Order of Merit started the season without prize money ranking points.
- He was an amateur.
- The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)
- The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
- The event was called the Haikou World Open (2013/2014)
Amateur finals: 1 (1 title)
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||2013||European Under-21 Snooker Championship||Ashley Carty||6–0|
- "World Rankings after the Coral UK Championship 2014" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "World Rankings after the German Masters 2015" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 8 February 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
- "World Rankings after the BetVictor Welsh Open 2015" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 22 February 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Mum's love helps Cahill fulfil Crucible dream". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- Ã?rdalen, Hermund. "James Cahill - Players - snooker.org". snooker.org. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- "CAHILL CROWNED U-21 CHAMPION". ebsa.tv. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- "European Snooker Championship U21 – Bor / Serbia 2013". European Billiards & Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 26 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- "James Cahill 2013/2014". Snooker.org. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- "Prize Money Rankings After the 2014 World Championship" (PDF). World Snooker. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- "Welsh Open 2014: Scores, results and schedule". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "European Order of Merit 2014/2015". Snooker.org. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "James Cahill 2014/2015". Snooker.org. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "UK Championship 2014: Ding Junhui loses to James Cahill". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "Mark Davis ends James Cahill's dream run in York". The Press. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "World Rankings After 2015 World Championship". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "James Cahill 2015/2016". Snooker.org. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
- Årdalen, Hermund. "Kaspersky Riga Masters (2016) - snooker.org". snooker.org (in Norwegian). Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- Årdalen, Hermund. "Results (World Open 2016) - snooker.org". snooker.org (in Norwegian). Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "James Cahill 4–3 Mark Selby". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 17 March 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- Årdalen, Hermund. "Results (English Open 2016) - snooker.org". snooker.org (in Norwegian). Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "James Cahill 2016/2017". Snooker.org. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- "Betfred World Championship Qualifiers". snooker.org. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Rankings 2016/2017". Snooker.org. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
- "Lam Secures Immediate Tour Return". World Snooker. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
- "Murphy Rules The Rock – World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "Cahill and Curtis-Barrett secure winning starts". World Snooker. 14 May 2018.
- "Last chance saloon for Q School hopefuls". World Snooker. 30 May 2018.
- Årdalen, Hermund. "HongRuiMa Yushan World Open Qualifiers (2018) - snooker.org". snooker.org (in Norwegian). Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "Results – Snooker – BBC Sport". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- Phillips, Owen (30 November 2018). "UK Championship: Mark Selby beaten by amateur James Cahill in round one". BBC Sport.
- "Selby Crashes Against Amateur Cahill – World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- "UK Championship: Mark Selby beaten by amateur James Cahill in round one". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "Blackpool's James Cahill edged out in another UK Championship snooker classic". blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- "'I was made for Crucible' James Cahill proves snooker has bright future beyond Ronnie O'Sullivan". Eurosport UK. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
I can take a lot of confidence from this. I’ve always felt that I belong on a big stage. When I was losing to guys in back rooms with no crowd, I always felt it would be different if I could get myself up there. A lot of the players haven’t got the temperament to go out there and perform. It’s not easy to perform. You’ve either got it or you haven’t.
- "Criteria Set For Crucible Qualifiers – World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- "Amateur Cahill To Make Crucible History – World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- "World Championship 2019: Ronnie O'Sullivan suffers shock defeat by James Cahill". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Ronnie O'Sullivan crashes out to amateur James Cahill in one of Crucible's biggest upsets". The Telegraph. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "World Championship 2019: Stephen Maguire through to last eight". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
biggest shock in Crucible history
- "I'm here to win the tournament says Blackpool snooker sensation James Cahill after world championship win over Ronnie O'Sullivan". blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "Tale of the Tape: Maguire vs Cahill – World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "LIVE Stephen Maguire – James Cahill – World Championship – 27 April 2019". Eurosport. 27 April 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "James Cahill trails Stephen Maguire after the first session of their Betfred World Championship match". blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "James Cahill trails Stephen Maguire by two frames with one session left in their Betfred World Championship encounter". blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "World Snooker Championship: James Cahill beaten 13–12 by Stephen Maguire". sportinglife.com. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "Mark Williams and Mark Selby crash out Stephen Maguire ends Cahill dream run". Eurosport UK. 27 April 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "World Snooker Championship: Mother's love helps James Cahill chalk up Crucible dream". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "James is on cue to follow uncle's lead". Lancashire Evening Post. Johnston Press. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "James Cahill – World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- Nunns, Hector. "James Cahill famous family revealed after amateur stuns Ronnie O'Sullivan". mirror. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "European Snooker Championship U21 - Bor / Serbia 2013". European Billiards & Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 26 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.