SWINDON’S PDC darts players begin their UK Open qualifying campaign in Wigan this afternoon.

Dennis Smith, Johnny Haines, Chris Aubrey and Mark Cox are competing at the Robin Park Tennis Centre over three events tonight, Saturday and Sunday, with the aim of making the finals which this year have been switched to Minehead in March.

This year the PDC has reduced the number of qualifying events to only six, played over only two weekends, meaning the Swindon contingent will need to be at their consistent best to earn a spot at the event known as the FA Cup of darts.

“The UK Open is always a really important tournament for us and it’s one we always want to try and get to,” said Smith.

“There are a few less events now which means you have to be more consistent if you want to qualify, especially if you want to avoid playing in the opening night.

“With there now only being two qualifying weekends, if you have one really good weekend and play well in all the tournaments you can perhaps earn your place in one weekend.”