Three of Dunvegan Darts’ Challenge Tour stars descended on Minehead last month for three days of action at the UK Open.
Greg Ritchie and Jamie Clark both made their debuts at the Skyline Arena, and Andy Davidson appearing for the third time in his career. We caught up with the Scottish trio a month down the line as they had time to reflect on their PDC major experience in Somerset. Whilst the results weren’t what was hoped for, the vital experience of sharing the venue with some of the sports biggest stars is invaluable as the three look to kick-start their careers under the spotlight.
Greg Ritchie told me: “The UK Open was a learning curve, it my first major tournament in the PDC and I think it proved there is still a lot to learn. But just being in the practice room and around the venue for the first time was a terrific experience. I know I didn’t play my best darts and I’m capable of a lot more, hopefully I’ll be able to show that in years to come”
Andy Davidson appeared in the 2016 and 2017 iteration of the tournament, defeating then tour card holders Jan Dekker and Cristo Reyes to make the last 64 in his debut year. The Scot couldn’t follow it up in 2017 but believes 2020 was a learning experience after two years away. “It had been three years since I’d been in the UK Open and it was a tough draw facing William Borland. We’re good friends and we play the local leagues together, he’s obviously just got his tour card and at the time I was still struggling to get wins on the Challenge Tour. “Willie was able to block it out of his mind, but he’s played some of the best players in the world this year so it’s probably a little easier for him. He’s playing the elite every week while I’m still learning on the Challenge Tour so it was difficult, but I learn from every game I play.”
Jamie Clark was unfortunate to come out at the losing end of a Last leg decider against Harlow’s Jason Askew, having come through the Aberdeen Riley’s Amateur Qualifier, it was an exciting prospect of his first PDC major. Clark said: “The UK Open was a great experience for me, even though it didn’t go exactly to plan. I obviously came through the Aberdeen qualifier and just to get there was a big achievement for me.” “I think experience was possibly a key factor, especially in the deciding leg, but I’ll learn from that game and the experience of everything I saw at the UK Open, so there’s plenty to take from it”
Whilst there is no PDC darts action for the foreseeable future, all three players will be returning to the Challenge Tour whenever that may be.
ENDS BY Josh Green (@JoshGreenMedia)