After the briefest possible hiatus, Joe Murnan is back on the PDC Pro Tour.
Murnan lost his Tour Card at the end of the 2018 season. But a successful stint at PDC Q-School helped him to regain his card. With 390 fellow competitors at Q-School, and just three other players winning their Tour Card back, it was an impressive feat.
Speaking exclusively to dartsnews.com, the Bolton ace revealed his delight at returning to the Pro Tour.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” he said.
“I know that no one was really giving me a chance to regain my card, except for my nearest and dearest family and friends.
“I’m really chuffed with how I played, showing plenty bottle along the way.”
Murnan was assured of Q-School success on the final day in Wigan. He still needed to play Nathan Derry in the final round, in a match that would have major implications elsewhere. The 35-year-old insisted that he was still geared up to win, though Derry ultimately prevailed.
“I was always motivated to get (my card) outright. But they are very long days and I didn’t perform in the final game as I wanted to,” he admitted.
“Maybe I relaxed too much, knowing I had already got my card. I can’t take anything away from Nathan, he played well in the last game.”
A poor 2018
Q-School wouldn’t have been necessary had Murnan held onto his Tour Card. A poor 2018 season saw him drop out of the world’s top 64. The Grand Slam offered redemption, but Murnan failed to progress past the group stage.
“At the end of the day we are all human and I just wasn’t enjoying it. I fell out of love with game. I’d lost all confidence in myself and my equipment,” Murnan said.
Knowing that Q-School was in the offing, Murnan got his preparation in early.
“I actually started preparing for Q-School in November,” he revealed.
“I’ve seen a sports psychologist and he helped get my confidence back, seeing different ways to look at the game and myself.
“I also worked with Target on getting the right equipment.”
Murnan gave praise to the people who supported him during recent times, most notably his wife.
“I had great support from my Mrs, Emma.
“I don’t how darts wives cope as they have a lot to deal with while we are away playing the beautiful game,” he said.
“I’ve had great support from my mum and her partner Dave.
“And last but not least, my manager Mark Dean, who has made everything possible for me.
All Tour Card-holders are in the UK Open this year, so Murnan has qualified for at least one of the majors this season. That’s just the start for the man from Greater Manchester.
“I’ve set myself plenty goals and they’re going to plan.
“I will do my best to achieve all of them now I believe I’ve found the winning formula.
“I’ll show you the list of goals at the end of the season!”, he joked.
Author: Ed McCosh