Heathcote Off To Strong Start
Louis Heathcote got his bid for a return to the professional ranks off to the perfect start with a 4-0 win over Marc Shaw on day one of Q School Event One at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Heathcote is aiming to bounce straight back from the disappointment of relegation from the World Snooker Tour last month. His four year run as a professional came to an end with a 10-7 loss against Andrew Higginson at World Championship qualifying.
The Leicester cueman, who is playing on home turf this week, narrowly avoided relegation two years ago. He made it to Judgement Day at 2021 World Championship qualifying to retain his tour card, but this time it wasn’t to be.
Heathcote wasted little time securing the win this afternoon, taking just over an hour. He crafted breaks of 112 and 53 en route to victory. Next up Heathcote faces Alex Clenshaw.
“You have to go in the mindset that you belong on the tour. We all want to be top 16 and world number one. This is just part of the journey for me. I’m not saying I’m going to get on straight away, but that is the approach you have to come in with,” said 25-year-old Heathcote.
“I was gutted. Falling off tour is one of the worst feelings you can ever imagine. I had two weeks off then straight back on the practice table. I have been practising really hard and also making time for a bit of golf as well!”
Havant’s Jamie Wilson beat Latvia’s Rodion Judin 4-1, averaging just 16.8 seconds a shot, to earn a place in round two.
Wilson came through Q School in 2020 at the age of just 16 and topped the average shot time standings during his first season on the circuit. Having since dropped off, he is now 19 years old and is aiming for a return to the World Snooker Tour. His round two opponent is Alfie Davies.
Luke Pinches, son of recently relegated professional Barry Pinches, beat Stephen Kershaw 4-2. Talented 18-year-old Paul Deaville, who made the last 16 of the 2021 English Open, whitewashed Heather Clare 4-0.
English Amateur champion Deaville said: “I didn’t play in the last two Q Schools because I didn’t think I was ready. I wanted to give it a go this time but I’m trying to stay relaxed and I’ll just see how it goes. I am going to university, to study sports business and management, so snooker is still going to be part time for me, and that takes pressure off. I just try to enjoy it.”
Event one runs until May 31st when the final round will be played and the four remaining players will earn tour cards. Event two then runs until June 6th, with another four tour cards up for grabs. Click here for our Q School Explainer.