Jonny Clayton has a lot to look forward to – but also some things to look back on and regret.

Chief among the fresh wounds is a first-round exit at the World Matchplay in July. Seeded 14th, Clayton was due a match-up with third seed Daryl Gurney. But Keegan Brown scuppered the 44-year-old’s plans. From a promising position, the Wales World Cup star was on the receiving end of four ton-plus checkouts, as Brown rallied for a surprise 10-8 win.

Asked by Live Darts if the outcome was disappointing, Clayton’s response was unequivocal.

“It was. I look back at it – I got to 7-5 up and blew it, basically.

“I was a bear with a sore head for a long time [post-Matchplay].”

Later in the interview, the Welshman prescribed the issue that was holding him back.

“I’ve been missing doubles, and it’s been hurting my game big-time.

“I know I can score, and I know I can hit doubles. But it’s putting them together, and the doubles have been letting me down.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

We go again

After a short hiatus, all attention is on the slew of TV events that round off the year. Clayton is refreshed and ready to tackle the upcoming challenges.

“I’ve just come back from holidays, so I’ve given darts a miss for ten days.

“I needed that break – just to totally relax, and now I’m back to work.

“I’m looking forward to the end of the season.”

Big payoffs

The World Championship, Clayton confirms, is the gold standard for every player. But December is a long way away, and there’s lots of darts to be played before that. The Ferret already knows what he needs to do at each tournament to consider it a success.

“Obviously, that’s the biggest payer, so if you get a good run in that, your rankings fly up,” said Clayton.

“But there’s a lot to go before the Ally Pally, so I’m going to try and concentrate on each and every event.

“My aim is quarter-finals. And from there on, we’ll see what happens.


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Author: Ed McCosh