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‘It’s brutal’ – Mitchell positive going into UK Open after tough start to PDC life

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Scott Mitchell has a first-round bye in the UK Open, which starts tomorrow (picture: PDC)
Scott Mitchell has a first-round bye in the UK Open, which starts tomorrow (picture: PDC)

BRANSGORE darts ace and former world champion Scott Mitchell had a tough start as a PDC professional, winning two of his six matches after being drawn against stellar competition in last weekend’s Super Series.

And there’s little time to rest for the 50-year-old, with the UK Open starting tomorrow (Friday) in Milton Keynes.

Over the Super Series’ four days, ‘Scotty Dog’ Mitchell was drawn against world number seven James Wade before facing two players ranked 52 in the world, Andy Boulton and Madars Razma, and world number 31 Dirk van Duijvenbode.

Ex-BDO world champion Mitchell picked up his first win as a tour card holder at the first time of asking by defeating Gary Blades 6-5 in his opening match.

The former Lakeside winner said: “It was good to hit the first treble-20, then the first double to win a leg and turn that into a first win. With any game, there’s always the pressure that you put upon yourself with how you expect to play, but with it being the first since winning a tour card, you know family, friends and fans will be following the matches, so that adds a bit more.”

The first day ended in a second-round 6-3 defeat to James Wade, who climbed to fifth in the world rankings after the tournament.

Mitchell added: “To be honest, I don’t look at where the players are ranked when I play.

“I have to play them on the games they produce on the day while hoping mine is on a par to beat it. I think it is a really strong 128 players on the PDC tour card holders list this year.

“We’ve seen lesser-known players beating the top-end TV regulars, so I have to take heart from that. It’s brutal, and little mistakes are punished, but if I’m not up for that challenge, then I shouldn’t be there.”

Mitchell secured his second victory with a narrow 6-5 defeat of Belgian thrower Mike De Decker on the third day before exiting in the second round against Latvian Madars Razma.

The Bransgore farmer was knocked out in the first round on both the second and fourth days of the series, with defeats to Boulton and van Duijvenbode.

As for the UK Open, which runs until Sunday, Mitchell is one of six players to be given a bye in the first round. He will take on the winner of Luc Peters vs Lewis Williams.

Mitchell added: “Its early doors, and I know it’s a cliché, but I’m not expecting too much. I can only concentrate on how to get the best out of myself on the day.

“If I manage that, it will be enough to win matches at any tournament.”

This is the second time Mitchell has enjoyed ProTour action after qualifying in 2020 thanks to his high standing on the Challenge Tour.

Mitchell, who juggles darts with farming and being a landscape gardener, earned his PDC tour card after winning the fourth day of the qualifying school last month, beating Danny Baggish 6-2 in the final.

He is one of many former BDO world champions to switch to the PDC, including Raymond van Barneveld, Jelle Klaasen and Mark Webster.

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