DARTS: Smith's mind is on the job as the UK Open race hots up
5:30am Friday 21st February 2014 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AndyWarren_
DENNIS Smith believes he needs to pick up £250 this weekend to make it into next month’s UK Open but is trying his best not to think about the money.
Smith, along with fellow Swindon PDC players Johnny Haines, Chris Aubrey, Mark Cox, Jack Tweddell and John Newland, are in Wigan this weekend for the final three qualifying tournaments ahead of the finals in Minehead in a fortnight’s time.
Veteran player Smith picked up £250 from the first qualifying weekend at the beginning of February and is determined to stay relaxed going into the final three events, even though he believes he only needs to earn the same again.
“I do think another £250 would probably do it but I have to just go there and try and get into every money round I can possibly get into,” he said.
“The trouble is, if you think about things like money too much it can get on top of you and if you miss out on the first day you put a load of pressure on yourself for the next two days. It’s a matter of just getting on with it.
“You should be grateful to get to the UK Open but the big target is to always get enough money so that you don’t have to start until the later rounds.”
Smith has been a mainstay of the UK Open throughout his long career in the game and, although he’s refusing to think about it, admitted he would be devastated to miss out.
“It would be awful not to get there because I reckon that would be the first time I haven’t qualified for it, but I’m really not thinking about that at all.
“That never enters my mind at all and to be honest I feel a lot more relaxed and confident going into this than I did going into the first weekend.
“I’ve had a habit lately of over-thinking things but now it’s about turning up and playing darts.”
Haines and Cox both sit on £500, meaning their place at Minehead is all-but secured, while Newland joins Smith on £250. Aubrey Tweddell are yet to register.