I was looking forward to taking part in the UK Open after playing well at a Darts Gala in Holland the previous weekend with victories over Tony O’Shea and Steve Beaton and I travelled to Bolton in a very positive frame of mind.
Performing on the main stage in front of the TV cameras again took a little bit of getting used to and I was happy going into the break against Mick McGowan 4 games to 1 up. I was hitting tons regularly and although Mick upped his game after the break I was still playing well enough to take the match 6 – 3.
This meant an encounter with Phil Taylor, who has been in superb form in recent weeks. I knew I had to be at my very best to stand a chance and so even my 94.7 average with 12 dart and 11 dart legs was nowhere near good enough to challenge him.
After the match Phil suggested that I take some time out to practice with him in the very near future. He was very complimentary about my role in the game and how it would benefit by having a resurgent Wayne Mardle challenging for the top honours again.
I’m certainly going to take him up on this offer when I return from competing in Vegas!