Michael Judge professional
Amateur Snooker, Main News

Ireland’s Michael Judge Becomes Professional Player Again

It ends a ten-year absence for the Dubliner from the Main Tour.

Michael Judge and three other former professional players regained their status among the elite after graduating from the 2021 Q School on Monday in Sheffield.

Judge was in no mood for any drama on the final day of Event 2 at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, beating both Robbie McGuigan and Kuldesh Johal with whitewash scorelines.

The 46 year-old was a mainstay on the professional circuit for almost two decades until his relegation in 2011, experiencing a career-high ranking of 24 during the 2002/03 snooker season.

In the last decade, Judge has continued to play a lot of snooker, capturing the UK Seniors Championship crown in 2019 and the Irish National Amateur Championship in both 2013 and 2018.

The former ranking event semi-finalist’s toughest task came in the last 32 when he required all seven frames to deny Iran’s Soheil Vahedi.

All four qualifiers from Event 2 boast a wealth of experience with Judge not even representing the oldest of the bunch to make it through.

At 50, Barry Pinches took that honour and relied on his vast experience to hold off the challenge of Sanderson Lam in a final-round clash that went all the way to the last colours.

Pinches, who has a career-high ranking of 18 and memorably triumphed in a PTC event in 2010, bounces back immediately after being relegated at the conclusion of the last term.

Fellow Englishmen Alfie Burden and Craig Steadman were the other two players to progress, overcoming Michael Collumb and Hammad Miah at the last hurdle respectively.

Burden only announced his retirement from the sport less than a year ago but couldn’t resist the allure of a return, while Steadman is similarly making his comeback after a brief stint away having also dropped off the tour in 2020.

Event 3 of Q School gets under way on Tuesday, and it’s the last opportunity for the remaining competitors to earn one of those coveted spots on the Main Tour.

There are six places still up for grabs – four from Event 3 itself and an additional two from a separate Order of Merit list which rewards consistent players throughout the entirety of this year’s Q School.

As things stand, Miah tops those standings with 42 points ahead of China’s Lei Peifan, but the likes of Lam, Michael Georgiou, Duane Jones, and James Cahill are not far behind.

Click here to view the draw for Event 3 (Times: CET)

Featured photo credit: WSS


  1. Pingback: Ireland’s Michael Judge Becomes Professional Player Again – SnookerHQ | PK Sports News

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