CHRIS Aubrey admitted his first round exit at the UK Open was especially hard to take given how thoroughly he prepared for the tournament in a bid to get his career back on track.

The young star recently admitted he needed to apply himself better and put more time in on the board if he was to retain his status as one of the game’s brightest prospects, and put his plan into action in the weeks leading up to the ‘FA Cup of Darts’ in Minehead.

However, it wasn’t to be as he fell 5-4 to Lionel Sams in the first round – a defeat which was really tough for Aubrey to take.

“I was feeling really quite comfortable going into it, but as the game went on I hit too many sloppy scores and all of a sudden it was 3-3,” he said.

“I had a poke at tops to make it 4-3 but the rest is history and I got beat. It’s hard to take because I prepared properly and did everything this year I was supposed to do two years ago.

“There’s no more going out and I’ve been treating this like a business like I really should have done before, which makes this hard to accept.

“I had a good chance this weekend to earn some good money and bump myself up the rankings – it’s not about the money, it’s about the rankings. You could give me £10,000 but I would rather move up the rankings.

“Before this I thought I did everything I could do to compete at the highest level but now it feels like a bit of a waste of time.

“Lionel Sams is a good player and he’s no idiot, but I really should be beating people like him.”

Despite the disappointment, Aubrey knows he can’t afford to dwell on it and will spend plenty of time on the practice board with his fellow Modus darts players over the rest of the weekend.

“I’ve got to bounce back, I have to and I know it.

“I will enjoy staying at the tournament over the weekend but then when I get back on the board on Monday it will be serious.

“I’m staying with people like Wadey (James Wade) and (Simon) Whitlock, and sharing an apartment with Paul Nicholson and Mark Webster, so there’s plenty of top class players to get on the board with.”