Michael Judge continued his fantastic form on the ROKiTPhones.com World Seniors Snooker Tour by winning the Senior Irish Masters qualifying event last weekend.
The recently crowned UK Seniors champion was already guaranteed to appear in front of his home crowd at Goffs this spring having previously been awarded a wildcard, therefore the qualification spot went to defeated finalist Rory McLeod; himself no stranger to the big stage.
Nearly 70 players entered the event that took place at The George Scott Snooker Club in Liverpool across three days. Former world top 32 ranked professional Judge began his campaign with victories over Abid Manzoor (3-0) and Danny Crawford (3-1), he then registered breaks of 52, 61 and 66 as he ousted Jon Charlton 3-2 in the last 16.
Multiple-time seniors main event qualifier Jonathan Bagley was eliminated by the Dubliner 3-0 in the quarter-finals before Scotland’s Gary Thomson, who crafted runs of 100 and 57 and led 3-2, was denied 4-3 in the last four.
Since his relegation from the professional circuit earlier in the year, McLeod has featured in several World Seniors competitions; qualifying for the aforementioned UK Seniors Championship in October. McLeod overcame Leo Fernandez and former World Seniors champion Aaron Canavan in the quarter and semi-finals respectively, but it was Judge who claimed the honours – including tour ranking points – following a 4-1 final success. In the final Judge constructed an effort of 118 – the tournament’s highest break.
Both Judge and McLeod are scheduled to line-up alongside Tony Drago, Stephen Hendry, John Parrott, Dennis Taylor, Cliff Thorburn and defending champion Jimmy White at the iconic venue in County Kildare for the 2020 Senior Irish Masters between the 27th-28th March.
For full results from last weekend’s qualifying event, please visit snookerscores.net