Plymouth snooker star Haydon Pinhey finally turns pro after years of heartbreak

Haydon Pinhey
-Credit: (Image: WST)

Plymouth snooker star Hayden Pinhey finally overcame the last Q School hurdle gain his professional status for the first time. The Plymothian had been one match away from turning professional four seasons in a row, but on each occasion, had suffered a defeat in the final round of Q School.

But the 27-year-old finally got over the line on Sunday as he beat Northern Irishman Gerard Greene 4-1 and gain his professional status for the first time. Victory in the 2024’s event one in Leicester saw him gain a two-year card on the World Snooker Tour.

Pinhey’s performances in the amateur ranks have seen him earn numerous appearances on the professional circuit in recent years. He notably defeated Luca Brecel 4-2 at the 2023 WST Classic, just months before the Belgian became World Snooker Champion.

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Having come so close at Q School in the past, Pinhey would have been forgiven for feeling the pressure in today’s encounter. However, breaks of 100 and 53 helped him to the verge of victory yesterday morning at 3-0.

The experienced Greene made Pinhey work for it, winning two 40-minute frames to move one behind at 3-2, but Pinhey took the sixth to get over the line and achieve his dream.

“It feels amazing,” he told World Snooker’s official website. “To have four last round losses and make it fifth time lucky. There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I thought I was going to cry or fist pump, but the feeling was just relief.

“I lost to Jenson Kendrick a couple of years ago. I didn’t just lose, I fell apart. It was coming to the point where I needed to do it soon or it was going to be impossible. To finally win is amazing.”

Other qualifiers on Sunday saw 17-year-old Artemijs Zizins became Latvia’s first ever professional player after a 4-2 win over Kayden Brierley. Wang Yuchen regained his place on tour with a 4-3 defeat of recently relegated Welshman Dylan Emery, while Allan Taylor recovered immediately from tour relegation to regain his place on the circuit with a 4-3 defeat of former professional Chris Totten.

The second Q School event begins on Monday and is the last chance for fellow Devonian Andy Hicks to try and regain his professional status. The 50-year-old from Tavistock ended the season ranked 72 nd , outside the top 64 who retained their status, and thus had to enter Q School.

Hicks was beaten in the last 32 by Yuchen 4-3 in the first of the Q School event. The former World Championship semi-finalist will need to win five matches in Q School event two to avoid being relegated from the main tour.