DARTS: Smith keeps eye on the bull in race to Ally Pally
SWINDON’S Dennis Smith is aiming to keep his cool as the race for a spot at the end-of-year World Darts Championship hots up in Barnsley this weekend.
The PDC veteran is currently in a three-way tie for 46th place in the PDC ProTour Order of Merit, with only the top 16 players outside the world’s top 32 in the main Order of Merit making it through to Alexandra Palace next month.
With a host of players in-and-around him, Smith needs to pick up some prize money from the final Players Championship events on Saturday and Sunday if he is going to add to his impressive number of appearances in world darts’ showpiece event.
But the Hungerford-born man is determined to stay calm, and is aiming to play his natural game when he travels to Yorkshire this weekend.
“I have got to go there and pick money up, it is as simple as that,” he said.
“But there is no point worrying about it because it puts too much pressure on yourself, but I have played in a lot of Players Championship events and I will just treat this like any other one I have been in.
“I am not setting myself a target or anything like that, and I don’t really want to think about money.
“My form is good, and all I want to do is go out there, play my game, and see how I go. I have been practicing hard and getting plenty of match practice, so there is no reason I can’t do well.
“Of course getting to the World Championship would be great because it has been a part of my life for over 20 years, but I will not be thinking about that and I will just play my game.
“It is a matter of going out there, playing well, and also getting the right draw because that is important.”
Smith his hoping to put his rivals for the remaining qualifying spots under pressure by picking up money and not leaving it until Sunday, and is also hoping they will get caught up worrying about their destiny.”
“I am hoping they go into this thinking too much about the World Championship and putting a lot of pressure on themselves to perform,” he said. “If I can pick up more money than they do on the Saturday I can put even more pressure on them, and it would be perfect to go out there and put it to bed on Saturday and have a nice relaxing Sunday.”
Smith’s fellow Swindon thrower Johnny Haines has all-but booked his place at Alexandra Palace already but will also travel to Barnsley looking to add to his prize money, as will youngster Chris Aubrey.