Rory McLeod (born 26 March 1971) is a Jamaican professional snooker player.
|Born||26 March 1971|
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England
|Sport country|| England (until 2019)|
|Professional||1991/1992, 1996/1997, 1998/1999, 2001–2019, 2020–2022|
|Highest ranking||32 (August–September, October, December 2011, February 2012)|
|78 (as of 3 May 2022)|
|Best ranking finish||Last 16 (x10)|
After three spells as a professional in the 1990s, interspersed with stints playing on the secondary Challenge Tour, McLeod spent 18 years on the main tour between 2001 and 2019, reaching his highest ranking, 32nd, in August 2011. He has reached the last 16 in ten ranking tournaments, and his most notable achievement came in 2015, when he won the minor-ranking Ruhr Open, beating Tian Pengfei 4–2 in the final.
Having suffered relegation from the main tour at the end of the 2018-2019 season, McLeod spent the 2019-20 season playing on the World Seniors Tour and Challenge Tour; he regained his professional status in August 2020 at Q School.
After ten years on the Challenge Tour he reached the Main Tour professional ranks for the 2001/2002 season.
McLeod has reached the last 16 of eight ranking tournaments. The first of these was the 2005 Grand Prix although this victory against a noticeably ill Paul Hunter was bittersweet. His best results of 2004/2005 were 2 last-48 runs, the Welsh Open run including a victory over Shaun Murphy. He narrowly missed out on a place in the last 16 of the 2007 Grand Prix, losing on frame difference in his group to Barry Hawkins.
He qualified for the 2008 UK Championship by beating Jimmy White and Dave Harold where he played Ronnie O'Sullivan. He slipped 6–0 down before launching a comeback by winning five consecutive frames (including three successive centuries), but ultimately lost 9–6. Later in the season he defeated Ian McCulloch to qualify for the World Championship for the first time in 2009, becoming the first black player to have done so. He faced Mark King in the first round but despite putting in a resilient performance lost 10–6. However, his performances throughout the season saw him rise to his highest ranking yet of 39.
In 2009 he won the Masters Qualifying Event, beating Andrew Higginson 6–1 in the final, to earn a place at the final stages of the 2010 Masters where he lost 6–2 to Mark Williams. He followed this up by qualifying for the UK Championship, being knocked out in the first round by Neil Robertson.
McLeod qualified for the World Snooker Championship for the second time in 2011, and was drawn against seeded player Ricky Walden in the first round. In a minor upset, McLeod won the match 10–6 to set up a second-round match with world No. 1 John Higgins. After the match, Walden criticised McLeod's slow style of play, though McLeod was playing only marginally slower than Walden. McLeod responded to the criticism by arguing that Walden was more responsible for the pace of the match. McLeod was ultimately defeated by the eventual champion John Higgins 13–7 in the second round.
On 1 July 2011, Dutch referee Jan Verhaas stated on his Twitter page that McLeod had refused to shake the hand of female snooker referee Ivy Zhu after his victory over Robert Milkins in a qualifier for the Australian Goldfields Open. Verhaas' comment read: "Rory McLeod refused to shake female ref Ivy Zhu's hand this morning because of his muslim beliefs. You may think what you like about it...". On 22 November 2014, after losing 4–0 to Judd Trump at the Ruhr Open, McLeod again refused to shake the hand of the female referee.
McLeod qualified for the 2011 Australian Goldfields Open, and beat Peter Ebdon in the first round 5 frames to 3, before going out to Shaun Murphy in the second round. McLeod qualified for the 2011 UK Championship by beating Barry Hawkins 6–2. He was drawn against three-time UK winner John Higgins and led 4–2 before the scoreline became 5–5. In the deciding frame Higgins "" two balls, one when escaping and McLeod would ultimately lose the match 6–5. McLeod also reached the China Open where he played Higgins in the first round again and lost 1–5. He finished the season ranked world number 38.
McLeod qualified for the Australian Goldfields Open and the China Open during the 2012–13 season. In Australia he lost 4–5 in the first round to Stephen Lee and in China he had his best run of the season, beating Hu Hao 5–1 in the wildcard round, Matthew Stevens 5–2 in the first round, before losing 3–5 to Shaun Murphy in the last 16. McLeod played in all 10 of the minor-ranking Players Tour Championship events, with his best finish coming at the fifth European Tour Event, where he was whitewashed 0–4 by John Higgins in the quarter-finals. He finished 36th on the PTC Order of Merit, outside of the top 26 who qualified for the Finals. McLeod ended the season by losing 9–10 to Sam Baird in the third round of World Championship Qualifying, to be placed at number 45 in the world rankings.
McLeod lost 5–3 to Mark King in the first round of the 2013 Wuxi Classic and 5–2 to Robert Milkins in the second round of the Australian Goldfields Open to start the 2013–14 season. He qualified for three other Chinese ranking events during the year, losing in the first round of the International Championship and China Open. At the World Open, McLeod came through a wildcard round match against Zhao Xintong and then narrowly beat Tom Ford 5–4, before world number one Neil Robertson knocked him out 5–1.
McLeod was beaten 5–4 by Michael Holt after having been 4–2 ahead in the first round of the 2014 Wuxi Classic. He defeated Lee Walker, Andrew Pagett and Ken Doherty on his way to qualifying for the Australian Goldfields Open and lost 5–2 to Judd Trump in the opening round. McLeod failed to qualify for the next two ranking events, before knocking out Ian Burns 6–2 and Zhang Anda 6–5 at the UK Championship. His second last 32 match of the season went into the early hours and it was Matthew Selt who ended McLeod's tournament with a 6–4 win. McLeod met Ronnie O'Sullivan in the second round of the Welsh Open after seeing off Andrew Pagett 4–2. He led 2–0, before O'Sullivan won four unanswered frames. The final ranking event McLeod could qualify for this year was the Indian Open where he lost 4–1 to Ricky Walden in the first round. McLeod kept a hold of his tour place at the end of the season as he was the world number 62, just inside the top 64 who remain.
There was some controversy during the Welsh Open due to his Isis Business Solutions sponsorship badge. The logo worn by McLeod consisted of the word `ISIS' in large letters and a small-print URL underneath. Some viewers thought he was sponsored by, or demonstrating support for, the Islamic State.
McLeod began 2015–16 by playing in the Australian Goldfields Open, where he beat Nigel Bond 5–2 before losing 5–4 to Jack Lisowski in the last 64. He progressed to the last 16 at the next event, the Riga Open, overcoming German amateur Roman Dietzel 4–1, Irishman Fergal O'Brien 4–0 and Hammad Miah 4–2, but lost at this stage 4–2 to eventual finalist Tom Ford. He reached the last 48 at the Shanghai Masters, losing to Alan McManus, and was eliminated in the first round of the International Championship, 6–1 by Daniel Wells.
However, at the Ruhr Open, McLeod defeated Craig Steadman, Jamie Jones, Mark King, Ben Woollaston, Mark Davis and the resurgent Mike Dunn to reach the final of an event carrying ranking points for the first time in his career, 24 years after making his professional debut. There, he faced China's Tian Pengfei, whom he defeated 4–2 to win his second professional title. The €25,000 winner's prize is the highest amount he has earned from a single tournament in his career. It also gained him entry to the Champion of Champions for the first time, but he was thrashed 4–0 by Neil Robertson in the opening round. After McLeod lost 6–5 to Jamie Cope in the UK Championship first round he said that he had not felt like the same person since his tournament win. Another first round deciding frame defeat came in the German Masters to Kyren Wilson and McLeod also lost in the second round of the Welsh Open 4–1 to Judd Trump. His debut appearance at the PTC Finals ended at the first hurdle as Dunn beat him 4–1. McLeod did reach the third round of the China Open by knocking out Mitchell Mann 5–0 and Dunn 5–2, but lost 5–1 to Alfie Burden.
McLeod lost in the last 32 of the Riga Masters and Indian Open 4–1 to Anthony McGill and 4–2 to Barry Hawkins. It took until the penultimate ranking event of the season to reach the same stage again when he beat Liang Wenbo 5–2 and Mike Dunn 5–3 at the China Open. He was defeated 5–3 by Hossein Vafaei in the last 16. A pair of 10–7 victories over Darryl Hill and Sydney Wilson moved McLeod one win away from qualifying for the World Championship and he took the first seven frames against Hammad Miah. Miah then rallied to be 7–6 down, but McLeod would win 10–7. At the Crucible he drew Judd Trump, a man who went into the tournament proclaiming that "I honestly believe I can play to a standard which is very rare nowadays," and that he was "the best" in the world. He won the first four frames, but McLeod, at 46 the oldest player in the event, responded brilliantly to take a 5–4 lead. McLeod went on to claim a famous 10–8 victory against a player ranked 52 places above him in the rankings and said it was the biggest win of his career. He lost 13–3 to Stephen Maguire in the second round with a session to spare and said the hype from his win over Trump had distracted him.
At the UK Championship in December 2018, an impressive stun shot won McLeod the BBC Shot of the Championship.
After being on tour for 18 consecutive years, he dropped off the tour after failing to qualify through Q-School.
In August 2020 he returned to the pro tour after qualifying through Q-School.
McLeod is of Jamaican parentage. He was born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, where he attended Victoria Junior School, Westfield Boys School and Sir Christopher Hatton School. He first played snooker seriously at the Embassy Club, Wellingborough, in his early teens, but was also a talented schoolboy footballer. Outside of snooker he has worked as a pub landlord and a barber.
Performance and rankings timelineEdit
|Ranking[nb 1]||[nb 2]||[nb 3]||[nb 3]||[nb 2]||[nb 3]||[nb 2]||[nb 3]||[nb 3]||[nb 2]||88||78||66||49||49||48||44||39||34||35||38||45||53||62||49||41||62||[nb 3]||[nb 2]||77|
|Championship League||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||2R||RR|
|British Open||LQ||A||LQ||LQ||A||A||A||A||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||Tournament Not Held||2R|
|Northern Ireland Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||1R||2R||A||2R||1R|
|English Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||1R||1R||A||2R||1R|
|Scottish Open[nb 4]||NH||A||A||LQ||A||A||A||A||LQ||2R||LQ||Tournament Not Held||MR||Not Held||1R||4R||1R||A||1R||LQ|
|World Grand Prix||Tournament Not Held||NR||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|Shoot-Out||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||1R||1R||4R||A||2R||A|
|German Masters[nb 5]||Not Held||A||A||A||Not Held||Tournament Not Held||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||1R||LQ||LQ||1R||A||LQ||LQ|
|Players Championship[nb 6]||Tournament Not Held||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||1R||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|European Masters[nb 7]||A||A||A||LQ||A||A||A||A||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||NR||Tournament Not Held||LQ||LQ||1R||A||1R||LQ|
|Turkish Masters||Tournament Not Held||LQ|
|Gibraltar Open||Tournament Not Held||MR||1R||2R||2R||4R||1R||3R|
|Tour Championship||Tournament Not Held||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|Champion of Champions||Tournament Not Held||A||A||1R||A||A||A||A||A||A|
|World Seniors Championship||Tournament Not Held||A||A||A||A||1R||SF||A||A||NH||A||A||QF|
|Former ranking tournaments|
|Irish Masters||Non-Ranking Event||LQ||LQ||LQ||NH||NR||Tournament Not Held|
|Northern Ireland Trophy||Tournament Not Held||NR||1R||LQ||2R||Tournament Not Held|
|Bahrain Championship||Tournament Not Held||LQ||Tournament Not Held|
|Wuxi Classic[nb 8]||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||LQ||1R||1R||Tournament Not Held|
|Australian Goldfields Open[nb 9]||Not Held||NR||Tournament Not Held||2R||1R||2R||1R||LQ||Tournament Not Held|
|Shanghai Masters||Tournament Not Held||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||1R||Non-Ranking||Not Held|
|Paul Hunter Classic[nb 10]||Tournament Not Held||Pro-am Event||Minor-Ranking Event||2R||1R||1R||NR||Not Held|
|Indian Open||Tournament Not Held||LQ||1R||NH||2R||2R||1R||Not Held|
|China Open[nb 11]||Tournament Not Held||A||A||A||A||LQ||Not Held||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||WR||LQ||1R||2R||1R||LQ||3R||3R||LQ||LQ||Not Held|
|Riga Masters[nb 12]||Tournament Not Held||Minor-Rank||2R||LQ||1R||A||Not Held|
|International Championship||Tournament Not Held||LQ||1R||LQ||LQ||LQ||1R||LQ||A||Not Held|
|China Championship||Tournament Not Held||NR||1R||LQ||A||Not Held|
|World Open[nb 13]||LQ||A||A||LQ||A||A||A||A||1R||LQ||LQ||LQ||2R||LQ||RR||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||2R||Not Held||LQ||LQ||1R||A||Not Held|
|WST Pro Series||Tournament Not Held||RR||NH|
|Former non-ranking tournaments|
|Masters Qualifying Event[nb 14]||A||MR||A||LQ||A||A||3R||1R||1R||2R||A||NH||SF||A||2R||2R||W||Tournament Not Held|
|Shoot-Out||Tournament Not Held||3R||1R||1R||2R||2R||1R||Ranking Event|
|Performance Table Legend|
|LQ||lost in the qualifying draw||#R||lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
|QF||lost in the quarter-finals|
|SF||lost in the semi-finals||F||lost in the final||W||won the tournament|
|DNQ||did not qualify for the tournament||A||did not participate in the tournament||WD||withdrew from the tournament|
|DQ||disqualified from the tournament|
|NH / Not Held||event was not held.|
|NR / Non-Ranking Event||event is/was no longer a ranking event.|
|R / Ranking Event||event is/was a ranking event.|
|MR / Minor-Ranking Event||means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.|
|PA / Pro-am Event||means an event is/was a pro-am event.|
- From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
- New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
- He was an amateur.
- The event was called the International Open (1986/1987–1996/1997) and the Players Championship (2003/2004)
- The event was called the German Open (1995/1996–1997/1998)
- The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013) and the Players Championship Grand Final (2013/2014–2015/2016)
- The event was called the European Open (1988/1989–1996/1997 and 2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
- The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
- The event was called the Australian Open (1994/1995) and the Australian Masters (1995/1996)
- The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
- The event was called the China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
- The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
- The event was called the Grand Prix (1991/1992–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010), the LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
- The event was also called the Benson & Hedges Championship (1990/1991–2002/2003)
Minor-ranking finals: 1 (1 title)Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||2015||Ruhr Open||Tian Pengfei||4–2|
Non-ranking finals: 2 (1 title)Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||2009||Masters Qualifying Tournament||Andrew Higginson||6–1|
|Runner-up||1.||2019||Seniors Irish Masters Qualifying Event||Michael Judge||1–4|
Pro-am finals: 1 (1 title)Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||2003||EASB Open Tour – Event 3||Mark Gray||5–2|
Amateur finals: 1Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Runner-up||1.||2020||English Amateur Championship||Ben Hancorn||3–5|
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- "World Open results". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
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- Denham, Jeff (20 February 2015). "Muslim snooker player Rory McLeod explains reason behind 'Isis badge' during Welsh Open". The Independent. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
- "Rory McLeod 2015/2016". Snooker.org. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
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- "Maguire Wins with Session to Spare". World Snooker. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- Rory McLeod 'finally' brings trophy home
- Why am I the only black pro on the circuit?
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- Rory McLeod at worldsnooker.com