Barrie Bates is on another learning curve as he returns to the PDC Pro Tour.

Bates, formerly a World Cup of Darts finalist with his native Wales, won his Tour Card back in January. Like Glen Durrant, he left it to the final day to sneak in through the Q-School Order of Merit. Durrant has stormed up the rankings since – something the 2009 World Championship quarter-finalist hasn’t been able to match.

Speaking to Live Darts, Bates explained that the standard in the game is much higher than when he was in his prime.

“It’s crazy. I’ve come back and I’ve got to be fair, it’s like I’m learning again.

“Years ago, you’d have the odd player. You’d think ‘oh, I like him’. You don’t have them any more.

“It’s brilliant, the standard is outstanding.”

“A different Barrie”

Bates had mixed emotions after making his way through Q-School. He has yet to reach the last 16 of any ranking tournament in 2019, but believes he can put that right before the expiry of his two-year Tour Card, in spite of an arthritis concern.

“I was a bit gutted. Me and Wes Newton, we’re best of friends. The two of us went there – I got through and Wes didn’t,” admitted the Welsh ace.

“To go to Q-School and get through, I was made up.

“I’ve had arthritis and all that, but don’t write me off. Next year, I’ll be a different Barrie.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh