Sunday, 9 September 2012

A Law to himself

If you could bottle up Rod Lawler's determination, you'd have a queue of top players a mile long wanting to buy it.

Call him what you want. Rod 'The Crawler' Lawler or Rod The Plod, but never question that this man has a game made of steel.

Lawler is regularly the butt of jokes for his slow play, but this is doing him a gross disservice. Anyone who watches him regularly will know he likes to attack and go for his shots. That should not be forgotten because of the methodical approach that comes with it. He puts in 100 per cent with every strike of the cue ball.

His first ranking event title here should be warmly received because it supports the philosophy that hard work does pay off.

But, I wouldn't question Rod's quality. En route and during his 4-2 win against Marco Fu in tonight's final, he played some great shots. I lost count of the number of times I saw balls whistling into the middle pockets with ease this weekend.

On top of Fu, Rod beat ranking event winners Stuart Bingham, Dominic Dale and Stephen Lee to show us again that he's a match for anyone.

This is a special moment for Rod, that I'm sure he'll enjoy. This win completes what is one of the most remarkable turnarounds I can remember in snooker.

Brushed up in tonight's triumph it's easy to forget that Lawler was just a whisker away from quitting the game altogether this summer. He'd fallen off the main tour and entered QSchool for one last crack at a return.

Forty-three matches later and he's deservedly holding a professional trophy aloft.

Among his successes this season since regaining his place on the professional circuit has been qualification for the Wuxi Classic, then victory against Stephen Maguire at the venue and progression to the final round of qualifying for the Shanghai Masters.

If you thought this was a good a story then this is just the cherry on the top for a player who has come back fighting for his life.

Don't be fooled by Lawler's bad press. He is a player to be admired. From a position of down and out, his turnaround has been remarkable.

Well played Rod.

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