Well, I’m afraid Mother Nature put paid my attempt at gaining a full PDC Tour Card.
I ventured up to Wigan on Wednesday last week, and no sign of any dreaded snow. I checked in to the hotel, and had a relatively early night.
Up early next morning to pick up my pal from Sweden – Par Riihonen, who was staying at another hotel. We got into the venue, and set in to a good 90-minute practice session.
Things were going well, but it soon became so crowded that I decided to go and chill out.
There were more than 300 entrants playing on 24 boards. It was going to be a long day. I was right on that one: I arrived at the venue at 9am, and played my game at 2.45pm. My match was against a guy named Scott Taylor and, from the off I could see he was a pretty handy player.
We traded legs, and soon it was 5-5, and into the deciding leg we went. He had the throw, kicking off with a 140 followed by a 100. I responded pretty well, giving myself a chance. He missed a shot at a double to win, and I’d hit a 140 to set up a shot at 64. To say I got that wrong is an understatement. I committed the ultimate crime in darts… I missed the 16 to give myself any chance. Scott checked out with his last dart on the next throw, and I was out.
Back at the hotel, I was receiving messages about the inbound snow in the south, being warned of over a foot being expected! As I needed to be at an appointment for 8am Monday morning, I had a dilemma: do I stay and risk getting stuck or do the ‘sensible’ thing and go home. I deliberated for an hour, by which time about an inch and a half of snow had already fallen where I was! I opted for ‘sensible’ and left Wigan for a journey home in heavy snow.
Despite not gaining a Tour Card, I’m still able to enter all UK Open Qualifiers, European Qualifiers, Pro-Tours in Ireland, Grand Slam and World Championship Qualifiers. Still plenty to focus on.
This weekend I’ll be aiming for some success in the Red Dragon Eastbourne Open. At least if it snows I can walk home!