FORGOTTEN DARTERS: Andy 'The Pie Man' Smith: rock solid at floor tournaments, but never really able to impress at the majors

In this column, we regularly reminisce about a "forgotten darter" from the past. Today it is the turn of Englishman Andy Smith.

Andy Smith was born on June 22, 1967, in Bromsgrove. Like many darters, he began his career with the BDO. In 1997 he managed to qualify for the World Championship for the first time, but at Lakeside Country Club it went wrong immediately in the opening round against Northern Irishman Geoff Wylie.

Later that year Smith did win the England Open, his first major tournament victory. In the meantime he had worked his way up to the top-20 of the BDO rankings and was invited to the World Championship again in early 1998. This time he lost 3-2 to reigning world champion Les Wallace;

In the BDO/WDF system Smith won the Welsh Open (1999) and Norway Open (2002), but at the World Championships he just couldn't get it done. In 2000 (3-2 against Co Stompé) and 2001 (3-1 against Stompé again) he was eliminated in the first round.

Move to the PDC

In 2004, Smith, nicknamed "The Pie Man," made the move to the PDC. And there he impressed almost immediately by winning two qualifying tournaments for the 2005 UK Open. It made Smith the first series leader to start that tournament, eventually losing in the fifth round 11-6 to Roland Scholten.

Smith proved over the years that he was an excellent floor player, winning no fewer than four Players Championships. On the majors, however, things were much harder, three quarter-finals at the World Grand Prix (2006, 2009 and 2011) and a quarter-final at the 2011 Players Championship Finals were his best results at a major.

Lost Tour Card

At the PDC World Championship, Smith never advanced beyond the last sixteen twice (2006 and 2011). After the 2017 World Championship, he had dropped to 74th in the world rankings, losing his Tour Card. Smith tried to regain that lost Tour Card a few weeks later at Q-School, but was unsuccessful. Since then, he has not returned to action at international tournaments.

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PDC forgotten darters

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