Darts ace Wayne Mardle is hoping that a combination of hard work and natural talent will take him to the top of the sport.
‘Hawaii 501’ is one of the most gifted players on the Professional Darts Corporation circuit – but his quest for major title glory has so far ended in failure.
He finished runner-up in the Las Vegas Desert Classic in July before letting a lead slip in the quarter-finals of the Stan James World Matchplay against Peter Manley.
“I’ve been playing well but I’ve been so hot and cold,” said the Romford-based player, who will face Alex Roy in the second round of the Skybet World Grand Prix in Dublin tomorrow after defeating Lionel Sams last night.
“I made the final in Vegas and at the Bobby Bourn, and threw away a potentially match-winning situation at the World Matchplay against Peter.
“That was the turning point for me to think that maybe I wasn’t living right and maybe I was relying on my ability too much.
“I’ve been practising really hard, especially on the double 18, and that came through against Lionel.”
Another player hoping to make an impression this week is Wes Newton, a 2-1 winner against qualifier Steve Hine.
The 28-year-old slipped in the shower and broke his collarbone prior to the Ireland Open Classic in September, ruling him out for a month.
He only returned to the practice board two-and-a-half weeks ago and is looking to improve on his first-round display.
“It was pretty painful for the first couple of weeks but I played through it,” said the Desert Classic semi-finalist.
“Now I’m pain-free it’s just about getting the belief back, but once you get a win under your belt the confidence kicks in.
“Hopefully I will be able to carry that forward and play better in the next round (against Colin Lloyd).”
Phil Taylor, who lost in the first round to qualifier Andy Callaby 12 months ago, gets his campaign under way against Ireland’s Joe Collins tonight.