Sunday, 8 January 2012

Maguire wins in Munich

Stephen Maguire may not be the biggest fan of the PTCs but his victory in Munich means a welcome return to snooker's winning circle.

On his day, the Scot is as good as anyone in the top 16.

Picture by Monique Limbos
He's a free-flowing scorer who strikes the cue ball with real authority. While he's done enough to retain his spot among the game's elite he's also been without a ranking title for four years.

His last success was back in 2008 at the China Open.

For a player of his quality, he should be winning events more regularly than he has done. That's why his 4-2 win against Joe Perry to capture the PTC12 crown will be greeted with cheer.

After showing signs of a return to his best at the recent UK Championship, Maguire pulled out all the stops in another successful tournament held in Germany.

His long-potting was excellent and he was back break-building with confidence.

Maguire hasn't been afraid to voice his unhappiness of the current PTC series format. He's among the group of top players who see the small tournaments as buying ranking points and has grown frustrated  at the expenses.

But fundamentally, this win could be priceless for Maguire. Although it remains to be seen, I wouldn't be surprised to see Stephen build on this success, and win another title before the end of the campaign.

That next title could potentially be at the PTC Grand Finals in Galway in March. If he does go on to scoop the winner's cheque for £70,000, I doubt we'll hear too many complaints from his corner then.

It's difficult to pinpoint exactly why Maguire has failed win more in recent seasons.

But I'll try nonetheless. Stephen strikes me as a player who puts a lot of pressure on himself. He has a fiery temperament and sometimes struggles to keep his game in check when he isn't playing well.

He's a far better player when he relaxes and as another blogger said earlier today "plays with a smile on his face".

Maguire certainly has plenty of reason to smile tonight as he heads back to Scotland.  His trip to Europe will remind him of how it feels to be a winner, which should set him in good stead for the rest of the season.

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