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DARTS: UK Open chance for local throwers
A STRONG local darting contingent will be in Crawley today for two sets of qualifiers over the weekend.
Throwers Dennis Smith, Johnny Haines, Chris Aubrey, Jack Tweddell and Mark Cox will compete in qualifiers for both European Tour 1 at Minehead and the UK Open in Bolton.
Hoping to lead the way will be PDC ace Smith, who has made no secret of his desire to avoid the big guns in the open-draw format UK Open qualifiers.
Those matches take place on Saturday and Sunday, but Smith is only competing on the second of these days.
And although Phil Taylor might be absent due to his busy schedule, plenty more of the world’s top players are planning to take part.
Smith said: “Everybody is in it over the weekend, there is a strong field of 240 players.
“If you win one of them or get yourself some good prizemoney then you need to give yourself a pat on the back because it’s a quality field.
“No player wants to draw Gary Anderson or Michael van Gerwen in the first round, you want to keep away from them.
“I’m not going to lie about that, but if I draw one of them then I will just have to deal with it, although I’d prefer to play them in the final.”
Smith will play in European Tour 1 qualifiers today alongside his fellow local throwers and has targeted a spot at Minehead next month.
“I’d like to get a good start in European Tour 1 qualifying too because it will allow me to get my foot on the ladder,” said Smith.
“It’s the first one of the year and I’d really like to get to Minehead.”