Snooker news: Highly-touted Belgian teenager Julien Leclercq wins tour card

May 11, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Julien Leclercq
Julien Leclercq, here with his father George, is onto the professional circuit (Picture: Matt Huart/WPBSA)

Julien Leclercq has won a two-year tour card for the World Snooker Tour after coming through the Q Tour play-offs in impressive fashion on Wednesday in Darlington.

The 19-year-old Belgian has been a rising star in the game in recent years and now gets the chance to test himself against the best in the world over the next two seasons.

The Q Tour play-off saw 16 players compete for professional status over two days, having earned their spot in the competition over the four events during the season.

Leclercq clearly meant business from the off as he walloped Alfie Lee 4-0 with breaks of 130, 120 and 116 along the way.

The teenager then beat former professionals Michael eorgiou and Harvey Chandler to reach the final where he met something of a surprise package in English youngster Alex Clenshaw.

Julien Leclercq
Leclercq was the star of the show in Darlington (Picture: Matt Huart/WPBSA)

The 20-year-old started brilliantly, with breaks of 101 and 79 to take a 2-0 lead, but then the Belgian reeled off five frames on the spin to claim the trophy and the coveted spot on tour.

Leclercq has been threatening a breakthrough for a couple of years, finishing runner-up at the European Under-21 and Under-18 Championships last year and winning a match in World Championship qualifying as well.

He found himself 5-2 behind against Soheil Vahedi in Sheffield but fought back to win 6-5 and down the Iranian, showing that he does not just have great talent, but fighting ability as well.

The 19-year-old joins compatriot Luca Brecel on the main tour and the current Scottish Open champion sent a message to the newly minted professional.

Luca Brecel
Luca Brecel’s message to Julien Leclercq (Picture: Instagram)

The Bullet wrote on Instagram: ‘Well done @julien147_ for winning the Q-Tour play-off, fantastic stuff! Welcome to the World Snooker Tour.’

Attention now turns to Q School, with 12 players set to earn tour cards from the UK events in Sheffield and four more from the Asia-Oceania Q School in Bangkok.

The four Sheffield events run from 16 May to 5 June, while the two events in Thailand start on 1 June.

The final tour card for next season will be won at the African Snooker Championship, held in Morocco from 20-30 June.

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