The Welshman earlier in 2021 took the title at the double-in double-out by defeating compatriot Gerwyn Price 5-1 in the final. Despite the seven TV titles on his record, that World Grand Prix title is his only major victory that counted toward the world rankings.
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The prize money he managed to win back then, Clayton will have to defend during the upcoming edition. “I’m not one to overthink anything,” 'The Ferret' said about it in conversation with the PDC.
“I just try my best in every tournament that I play. Sometimes they go and sometimes they don’t. That is what sport is all about. Hopefully, the Ferret will come out on the winning side again. I want to lift every trophy that’s going, and I will try my hardest to do that.”
Clayton is experiencing another good season this year with a title on the Euro Tour and Pro Tour, in addition to winning the World Cup of Darts with Price. In July, however, "The Ferret" impressed by reaching the final at the World Matchplay under difficult circumstances.
Clayton's father was in poor health and passed away a few days after the tournament. Clayton, however, was able to make his father proud one last time by reaching the final in Blackpool. He defeated Gabriel Clemens, Dimitri van den Bergh, Ryan Searle and Luke Humphries before the 48-year-old Welshman lost to Nathan Aspinall in the final.
“It was a tough time,” Clayton recalls. “I couldn’t perform in the final, but I did something for my dad in his last days, and that means so much to me. I was going to pull out [of the tournament], but my dad was adamant that he wanted me to play, so what do you do? I kept on going and thank goodness I did, because that was the last tournament he ever saw me in and I’m so proud that I got to the final.”
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Following the death of his father, Clayton decided not to compete in the World Series tournaments in New Zealand and Australia. In September, he did compete in the Hungarian Darts Trophy in Budapest, where Clayton narrowly lost to Michael van Gerwen in the last sixteen.
“It is still difficult,” the former Premier League champion said of the loss of his father. “I can’t just forget about my Dad, but darts was his life and I just want to keep doing him proud."
“I’ve got to be honest; I didn’t throw a dart for nearly six weeks and it shows, but I’m back on the practice board now and I need to concentrate on this end part of the year. My mind is back now on the big-stage tournaments coming up. It’s an important part of the year so I want to do well, and fingers crossed I will.”