Lawler defeats Fu in final
Rod Lawler won his first ever professional title by beating Marco Fu 4-2 in the final of UK Players Tour Championship event three.
The 41-year-old from Liverpool, ranked No 65 in the world, played superbly in the event at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester, beating the likes of Stuart Bingham and Stephen Lee before seeing off Hong Kong's Fu in the final.
Lawler enjoyed his best days in the mid-1990s, reaching the last 16 of the World Championship in 1995 and the final of the International Open the following year.
He dropped off the main tour at the end of last season having been a pro since 1990, but decided to try Q School and made it through at the third and final attempt.
Since then he has found a new lease of life and started the season by qualifying for the Wuxi Classic. This victory is worth £10,000 plus 2,000 ranking points.
He opened the final with a break of 114, then the next two frames were shared. Fu took the fourth with a 102 for 2-2, but Lawler got the better of a scrappy fifth frame then sealed victory in the next with a 69.
"I'm so proud to win a tournament carrying ranking points for the first time," said Lawler. "I played some good stuff during the event and when I won two matches 4-3 earlier today to reach the semi-finals, I allowed myself to think about winning it.
"If I hadn't got through Q School I would have got a real job and just played snooker for fun. It's amazing what can happen and it's justified my decision to carry on.
"I am playing the best snooker of my life and if I keep this up I'm a handful for anyone. I'd love to qualify for a few of the big venues this season."
The Players Tour Championship is a series of ten events, four in the UK and six on the Betfair European Tour, with the top 25 on the final Order of Merit going through to the Grand Finals in March. They will be joined by seven players from the Asian PTC Order of Merit.