FORGOTTEN DARTERS: Mark Walsh, one-time major finalist who had to deal with dartitis

In this column, we regularly reminisce about Forgotten Darters from the past. Today it is the turn of Mark Walsh.

Walsh was born on Feb. 2, 1965, in the English town of Kings Langley. In 2002, he made his TV debut at the World Matchplay, where he went down 10-0 against John Part in the first round.

A year later, he recorded his first ever win at a major by beating Irishman Martin Murphy 2-0 in the opening round of the World Grand Prix. A round later, he went down 3-1 against Colin Lloyd. Later that year, Walsh qualified for the PDC World Championship for the first time. In his opening match, however, things immediately went wrong against Belgian Erik Clarys losing out (2-4). A year later he lost his opening match at the World Championship again, this time 4-2 against Wayne Mardle.

Shock at the 2005 UK Open

At the 2005 UK Open, Walsh caused a shock as an unseeded player. After victories against Mark Dudbridge, Andy Hamilton, Mark Thomson, Erik Clarys and Peter Manley he faced Phil Taylor in the final. Walsh put up a good fight, but eventually lost 13-7.

Buoyed by the success of the UK Open, Walsh finally won his first World Championship match later that year by defeating Warren Parry 3-0 in the opening round. In the second round, however, Dennis Smith proved too strong 4-0.

Walsh regularly suffered from dartitis during that period, but that did not stop him from getting good results. He reached the quarterfinals at the European Championships in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and won three Players Championships in 2009.

Semi-final at Grand Slam of Darts

'Special Brew', as his nickname was, was now an established name in the top-32 of the PDC world rankings and made another appearance in 2011. Early that year, he lost 4-0 to Terry Jenkins in the last sixteen at the World Championship. At the Grand Slam of Darts, he survived a group with big BDO names Scott Waites and Tony O'Shea to then eliminate Dean Winstanley and Ted Hankey. In the semifinals, Gary Anderson proved too strong 16-11.

In 2012, Walsh reached the last sixteen at the World Matchplay and in 2013 also the last sixteen at the World Championship, but he gradually dropped in the world rankings. In early 2016 he lost his Tour Card, he regained it, but two years later he lost his place on the Pro Tour for good. Since then he has only appeared sporadically at the regional level and since the beginning of 2020 he has not played at all.

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