DARTS: Haines still needs more to claim UK Open place

Johnny Haines

Johnny Haines

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

JOHNNY Haines knows he still has work to do despite picking up a decent haul during the first weekend of UK Open qualifying.

The High Street Club player secured £500 from the first three events in Wigan last weekend leaving him tied with 18 other players for 53rd place in the UK Open qualifying standings.

Haines made it to last year’s event in Bolton having picked up £600 from an eight-event qualifying campaign and, although the road to new UK Open venue Minehead was shortened by two events this year, the Swindon player believes he needs to earn more money to secure a place at the event known as the FA Cup of darts.

“I could have done with a bit more to be honest because I played pretty well on all three days and beat players like Kevin Painter which was good,” he said.

“I was happy with that win and I could have gone further had he (David Pallett) not hit a nine-darter in the last leg of my match in the next round. There wasn’t much I could do about that one.

“Last year I got in with £600 and there are two less tournaments so I might be okay with what I’ve got although I probably need a bit more.

“Cutting the qualifiers isn’t a problem really because it’s the same for everyone.

“I’ve started hitting my doubles again so the confidence is there and hopefully I can keep getting better.”

Qualifying for the UK Open resumes in 10 days time, again in Wigan, where Haines will be looking to add to his tally.

His fellow Swindon player Mark Cox also sits on £500 while Dennis Smith and John Newland both have £250 to their name with three events remaining.

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