Julien “Juju” Leclercq, 19 years old, from Belgium has earned a 2-years Tour card yesterday by winning the 2022 Q-Tour Playoffs.
Leclercq Wins Q Tour Play-Off
Belgium’s promising 19-year-old Julien Leclercq earned a place on the World Snooker Tour for the first time by beating Alex Clenshaw 5-2 in the final of the WPBSA Q Tour Playoff at the Q House Snooker Academy in Darlington.
The victory will see Leclercq join the World Snooker Tour for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons. He was competing in the two-day playoff tournament as one of 16 players qualified via the Q Tour Rankings.
Leclercq impressed from his opening match, scoring three century breaks against Alfie Lee in the last 16, before seeing off former professionals Michael Georgiou and Harvey Chandler to reach the final.
There he would face Englishman Alex Clenshaw, after the 20-year-old defeated Brandon Sargeant, Ryan Davies and Liam Davies – coming back from 0-3 down in the semi-finals – to reach the title match.
Clenshaw made the stronger start as breaks of 101 and 70 gave him a 2-0 lead. Leclercq claimed the third with a break of 55 to get himself up and running, before crucially adding a close fourth frame with a break of 51 to draw level at the mid-session interval.
On the resumption of play, Leclercq dominated. He made a top break of 80 and limited his opponent to just 27 points over the final three frames to complete a 5-2 victory and achieve a dream of becoming professional for the first time.
Runner-up at last year’s EBSA European Under-18 and Under-21 Championships, Leclercq also gained attention at the 2020 WSF Junior Open as he scored the highest two breaks of the competition, narrowly losing out to China’s Wu Yize in the knockout rounds.
He is now set to join Sean O’Sullivan, who claimed the automatic tour qualifying place via WPBSA Q Tour, as a professional from the start of the 2022/23 season and will look to follow in the footsteps of two-time ranking event winner and fellow Belgian Luca Brecel.
The WPBSA would like to thank the Q House Snooker Academy and all of the venues to have held tournaments during the inaugural WPBSA Q Tour season. A further announcement will follow as to plans for the 2022/23 Q Tour in due course.
This a quite remarkable victory in many ways.
Snooker is healthy in Belgium, but it’s mainly played in the Northern, flemish-speaking, part of the country. That’s were Luca Brecel and Ben Mertens are from. That’s also were former-pro, Bjorn Hanneveer is from. But Julien if from Crisnée, a small city – it has about 3000 inhabitants – near Liège in Wallonia. To hone his skills, and play against the best, Julien joined a flemish league.
Julien’s win is also a team victory. His father, Georges, is passionate about snooker and has invested a lot of time, effort and resources to help Julien achieve his dream. He’s a very proud father now, and he has every right to be proud as, without him, this would not have been possible. Julien had the talent, but like all talents it had to be supported and nurtured.
The management of the Q-House Academy was really impressed with Julien and have already expressed interest in welcoming him in their academy next season.
It’s all good … as long as Julien doesn’t pick on Mike Dunn’s atrocious sense of humour 😂