Andy Hamilton announced at the end of the 2017 season his intention to take a year out from the PDC. The Hammer then went on to play the Riley’s Qualifiers and won the Worcester event to qualify for Minehead.
In a lengthy interview with High Roller Radio, Hamilton speaks about getting through those qualifiers as well as how devastating it has been for the former major finalist to go into the darting doldrums.
Q: You recently tweeted out that you’re “not done just yet with the PDC!” How good did it feel to not only win the qualifier but then send that tweet out into the universe?
AH: It was a great feeling, it’s the best result in terms of winning for quite a long time overall. It was a field of 120 players so I had to win 7 matches to get through, it was only best of 7 and I’m used to best of 11 so you don’t get any chance to settle in the match. It felt awesome to put that tweet out though, taking a year away wasn’t an easy option so I’m glad of the opportunity to play in the UK Open.
Q: Obviously your game is in good stead. How did it go for you in Worcester?
AH: I played pretty well there to be honest, I’d only got home from Australia on the Tuesday evening, I’d spent around 38 hours travelling to get home and the jet lag had fully kicked in; I was waking up at all sorts of times, I was pretty pleased with my game there considering.
Q: So what are you hoping for at the UK Open and beyond in 2018? Do you set goals for yourself?
AH: I want to prove my game is still there, I know I’ve got the ability still, I believe in myself, I know I can do well at the UK Open it’s a great venue and I’ve done rather well in the competition before. This year I want to get everything right, get rid of any little niggles that don’t help at all, and come back in 2019 even stronger. I’ll play the BDO circuit and learn to love the game again.
Q: You went through a bit of a rough patch there. You missed the UK Open last year and lost your PDC tour card. How frustrating has it been for you the past few years, knowing that you’ve got the game but it just hasn’t been produced to the level you’d like it? And, you opted out of playing Q School this year. Was that a difficult decision for you?
AH: it’s been devastating to be truthful, as a player it’s got to be one of the worst things that can happen. Your confidence gets knocked, you don’t know how to put things right and losing becomes a habit. I made the decision to step back, I’d spoke to a few people and listened what they had to say; I decided to take the pressure off of myself by not going for the tour card; I was confident I could win one but if I hadn’t I’d have been in a place 100x worse. I’ve dropped away from the main tour and I’ve stopped the rot, I’m starting to enjoy darts again, fixing my personal issues and effectively starting again, the BDO is going to help me massively it allows me to play competive professional darts without the intensity of the PDC circuit, and I mean in a way that if I don’t play every pdc event I’d get left miles behind in terms of rankings whereas with the BDO’s system I can concentrate on the category B, A and A+ events, they’re not every week so its less intense.
Author: Samuel Gill