The talented, heavy-scoring former German Masters winner discovered some of his very best form after seeking professional help to improve his mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown earlier this year
The man nicknamed 'The Pinner Potter' considered retirement as his ranking plummeted due to his inner turmoil, but began to regain his love for the sport as he told Eurosport during an extensive interview during his run to the World Championship last 16 last month.
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Gould defeated world number one Judd Trump 6-3 in impressive fashion on Saturday to book his place in the final in a run that has seen him overcome John Higgins and Yan Bingtao in final-frame deciders.
It came after he qualified for the World Championship in Sheffield where he defeated Graeme Dott and Stephen Maguire before losing 13-9 to the tournament's finalist Kyren Wilson in the second round at the Crucible.
“Considering that six or eight weeks ago I was on the verge of retiring and now I’m in the final of the European Masters, you couldn’t make it up really,” said Gould, who will go back up in the world from his season-starting ranking of 53.
“They always say that after a long journey you actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve started to see that light. Since the Crucible I’ve played two days. Most of the time you found me on the golf course, my happy place. I’m just enjoying myself and I think that is showing with how I’m playing.
Mark Selby sees off Shaun Murphy to reach European Masters final
“To win a ranking event is what you play snooker for. Whether it be the World Championship or something else, you want to win tournaments. That is what you turn up for. 128 players turn up, 127 go home and there is one winner. I want to be that one winner.
“You are never going to get an easy game in the final. I’m just going to go out there with the same attitude as I had tonight. I’ll enjoy it and see what happens. I’ll just let myself go with the flow.”
Three-times world champion Selby hit breaks of 84, 78, 65 and 50 in a 6-3 win over Shaun Murphy in the other semi-final as he chases the £80,000 top prize.
“It is strange times at the moment, with no crowd out there," said 17-times ranking event winner Selby, who has won his last nine finals.
"To be playing in any tournament is fantastic. My motivation is there just as much as if there was a full crowd. I’ll be trying my hardest as always, hopefully I can come out on the right side.”
Best shots from Selby in European Masters final
Selby holds off Gould fightback to win European Masters