Lawler after winning the Players Tour Championship 2012/2013 – Event 3
12 July 1971 |
|Nickname||Rod the Plod|
|59 (as of 7 May 2013)|
|Career winnings||GB£502,805 (up to 2012/2013 Season)|
|Highest break||143 Embassy World Championship (Qrd) 2003|
|Best ranking finish||Finalist (International Open 1996)|
He turned professional in 1990. His first season proved to be quite successful as he reached the Last 32 in the Dubai Classic, losing out 2-5 to former World Billiards Champion Rex Williams. He the followed this up with a run to the Quarter Finals of the Classic, losing 2-5 to Mike Hallett His best run in a ranking tournament was in 1996, when he reached the final of the International Open, beating World Champion Stephen Hendry 5–3 in the second round, but his run ended in the final where he lost 9–3 to John Higgins.
In 1995, Lawler reached the Semi-final of the Malta Masters, beating future UK Champion Matthew Stevens in the Quarter Final, however he lost in the Semi-final to the home favorite Tony Drago. He followed up this result by reaching the Last 16 of the Grand Prix, beating the aforementioned Tony Drago in the Last 32, before being whitewashed 5-0 by Stephen Hendry.
Lawler has qualified for the final stages of the World Championship on two occasions, the first being in 1995, where he beat a young Marcus Campbell in qualifying, before losing to Peter Ebdon in the Last 32 at the Crucible. He qualified again in 1996, beating former World Champion Dennis Taylor in the final qualifying round. At the Crucible he then beat 1991 World Champion John Parrott 10-6, before losing in the Last 16 to Dave Harold by 13 frames to 6, this was, to date, his best World Championship performance.
Lawler narrowly missed out on a place in the Last 32 in the 2009 China Open, winning three qualifying matches, the last of which was against Matthew Stevens, to reach the venue in Beijing, only to lose 3-5 to local wildcard Yu Delu. In 2010 however, Lawler did reach the Last 32 of the China Open, winning three qualifying matches against Matthew Selt, Dominic Dale, and Ricky Walden. Also defeating wildcard Supoj Saenla 5-3, before losing to then number 8 seed Mark Selby
The 2011/12 was a disastrous season for Lawler. He reached the third qualifying round in three ranking events. Apart from that he lost a lot of matches which then proved quite costly at the end of the season as he finished ranked 73, losing his place on the main tour. He then entered the Q School and reached the semi-finals of Event 3 by beating another former professional Joe Delaney to regain his tour place for the next two seasons.
Lawler had a great start to the 2012/13 season as he won all four matches to qualify for the Wuxi Classic. At the venue he defeated Li Hang and Stephen Maguire to reach the last 16 where he was narrowly beaten 4–5 by Graeme Dott. In September he won his first professional title at the UK PTC 3 event defeating Marco Fu 4–2 in the final in Gloucester, Beating the likes of Stuart Bingham, Stephen Lee and Dominic Dale en route to the final.
Following his Gloucester success, Rod continued to perform well, reaching the final qualifying round of both the UK Championship and Haikou World Open tournaments, with his results enough to move him back inside the top 64 provisionally.
His victory over Fu at the UK PTC along with a semi-final run in the European Tour 2012/2013 – Event 6 meant that he qualified for the PTC Finals ranked 7th on the Order of Merit. At the venue in Galway he beat Cao Yupeng by a 4-2 scoreline, only to lose to Kurt Maflin in the Last 16 by 4 frames to 3, having led throughout the match.
At the 2013 World Championship, Lawler beat Scottish Amateur Fraser Patrick 10-5, he then resisted a admirable fightback to beat Anthony McGill 10-9, after being 7-2 and 8-3 up. However in the final qualifying round, he lost 7-10 to World number 21 Martin Gould, despite being 5-2 up at one point in the match, however, the progression to the final qualifying round netted him £8,200.
Ranking event finals: 1 (1 runner-up)
Minor-ranking event finals: 1 (1 title)
Non-ranking event finals: 1 (1 runner-up)