John Higgins produced an awesome display to march into the British Open final at Brighton today – and put it down to a small piece of wood.
Higgins has struggled since winning the title three years ago and came to the tournament down in tenth place in the provisional rankings.
But a slight alteration to his cue has worked wonders and Higgins needed only 74 minutes to beat Shaun Murphy 6-0, completing victory with a magnificent 144 total clearance.
“Steve Davis said on television that he thought my action was far too long,” said Higgins, a first round loser at last month’s Totesport Grand Prix.
“I ignored it at first but I realised that my cue was longer than it needed to be. It was 58 inches and when I was winning all my titles it was 57 and a quarter.
“Cue actions change over the years and I was out of control during matches, missing easy balls. Before the tournament I had the cue altered. It’s helped my mindset and eradicated some of my misses.
“I had to do something to help me compete and it’s certainly worked this week.
“You start looking for reasons why you’re not playing well instead of just rolling with it. I was having things done to my cue that was just brain damage.
“I came back in some tournaments but when my timing was off I was just terrible. That might have had something to do with the length of the cue.”
Higgins, the 1998 world champion, has not won a title since capturing the Irish Masters in March 2002.