DARTS: Smiffy is hoping to go one better in Minehead

Dennis Smith

Dennis Smith

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy sports editor, awarren@swindonadvertiser.co.uk, @AndyWarren_

DENNIS Smith is hopeful of going further than he ever has before as he prepares to begin his campaign at the first PDC major of the year tomorrow.

Smith takes on Mark Hylton in round one of the UK Open at Butlins in Minehead, having played in the event since its inception in 2003 - reaching the last 32 four times.

The PDC veteran has been in good form at the start of this season, having made it to the World Championship in 2013, and is keen to get off to a good start in the year’s first major.

“I think I’ve been playing in every one since the start, I don’t think I’ve missed one, and I always enjoy it,” he said.

“I’ve not got the greatest record there to be honest and never had a fantastic year, and I don’t know why.

“You have to play all day and concentrate on not getting timed out and making it to your board and everyone just seems to have a cracker against me.

“I’ve got a couple of tough draws but I need to turn up on the day and get through. It’s a short format but it should be fine. Hopefully I can maybe go further than I have before and if I can do that I would be really pleased.”

Smith needs to win three games on Friday if he is to make it through to the second day of competition, but he knows there are plenty of good players standing in his way in the event now known as the ‘FA Cup of darts’.

“There are good players in there who have been around and done a lot so I know it will be hard but I’m looking forward to it. “It’s one against one and I just want to turn up and play my darts to the best of my ability.”

Smith’s close friend and fellow Swindonian, Johnny Haines, is also in action and begins his campaign against Steve Douglas.

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