Monday, 19 December 2011

Ford finds focus

Tom Ford has established himself as a far greater force on the professional circuit this season after setting his sights on the top 16.

The Leicester potter has always had the raw attributes to become a top player but seems to have discovered greater purpose and poise to start putting them to better use.

Picture by Monique Limbos
By winning the PTC11 title with a 4-3 win against Martin Gould in the final tonight, he may just have put himself forward as a capable contender to join the elite.

This is his second PTC triumph, of course, proving once again he has the free-flowing scoring game to win trophies. His problem in his career thus far has always been performing on the televised. Too often his displays in front of the cameras have been far short of what he's produced behind the closed doors of the qualifying rounds.

As a youngster I hear he was right up there talent-wise with his fellow countyman Mark Selby. While the Jester has gone on to top the world rankings, Ford has been left behind only ever reaching the top 32.

He admits himself he struggles to practise and enjoyed the social side of life too much to best take advantage of his talents. But that seems to have changed.

At the start of this season he openly stated his ambitions to reach the top 16. He's already backed those bold claims up with a string of fine performances, including his most recent win seeing him up to a career-high 26th in the world rankings.

Tom is still a little way short of his top 16 hopes but is moving in the right direction, producing his best snooker more regularly. He currently sits ninth in this season's Order of Merit and could improve that after travelling to Munich in January.

Some people don't like to set targets but in Ford's case, a goal to work towards appears to bringing more of the best out of him.

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