Lightning has struck twice for Lorraine Winstanley at the BDO World Darts Championship.

A year ago, the then-top seed beat Casey Gallagher 2-1 in the first round, before making her way to the final. Winstanley will hope for more of the same in 2020, having overcome the same opponent 2-0 in this year’s tournament opener.

Speaking with Tungsten Tales after the game, the 2019 runner-up had some sympathy for her beaten opponent.

“Bless her! It’s like fate with the draw, being last and facing Casey again,” said Winstanley.

“But I’m really superstitious, so I was happy with that draw, because it was the same as last year – which hopefully reflects on what will happen again.”

New surroundings

Change has been the theme of this year’s BDO World Darts Championship. There’s the switch in venue, to the Indigo at the O2 Arena, and also the surprise alterations to the prize fund. Both have affected Winstanley, who admitted to being put off by the new stage experience.

“It felt weird. I’m not going to lie, it felt strange. Obviously, big changes for us – new venue, and things like that,” she explained.

“Coming into the tournament, we’d had a lot of uncertainly. A couple of days before New Year’s, to find out that the prize fund had been slashed, it’s hard.

“It’s not my job, but for other players, it is their job. And to go to work not knowing what you’re working for…”

Chris Sargeant/Tip Top Pics

Photo: Chris Sargeant/Tip Top Pics

Eyes on the prize

A discussion with any player at the BDO World Darts Championship wouldn’t be complete without comments on the prize money. Winstanley insists that the title itself is the main focus, but spared a thought for fellow players whose priority may be the income such a win should provide.

“I’m here for the title because, for years, it’s been my ambition to be world champion. But along with the title comes the pennies.

“When you don’t know what you’re playing for, it makes it very difficult,” said the 44-year-old.

“You’ve always got that in the back of your mind. It doesn’t fill you with enthusiasm, coming into the tournament!

“But at the end of the day, we’re still here for the title.”

Big tie

Now the eighth seed, Winstanley must face the top seed for the right to claim a semi-final berth. This year, Lisa Ashton fills that role. The four-time world champion is a huge obstacle to overcome, but the former World Master feels confident – if she can shake the disconcerting Indigo atmosphere.

“I’m hoping it’s going to be a good game. Obviously I’ve got to put some work in!

“But it just felt strange on the stage. I don’t doubt my ability in any way, shape or form. It just felt different so hopefully, having got through that round, that can be wiped away,” Winstanley said.

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh