"I was averaging like 40 or high 30's": Remarkable rise for Challenge Tour standout Crabtree from lockdown to title winner

A recent first time Challenge Tour winner and a rising star in the game is Cameron Crabtree who has recently been playing on the ProTour due to his exploits on the former after a whirlwind few months.

"I'm not sure it's all settled in just yet, it's been a great few months obviously and I'm enjoying it but I think it's just something I'm trying to take in my stride and not think too much, just throw," said Crabtree to Weekly Dartscast.

Crabtree is one of a few success stories from lockdown to the PDC Tour having never played before. He joined the IDL League and went from the lowest division incrementally improving.

"In lockdown, my exams were cancelled so I was bored and there was not much to do so I thought I'd try and throw and pass the time and I quite enjoyed it and it came on from there.

"I think I played for a week or two before I joined the league. I was averaging like 40 or high 30's, I wouldn't be impressed now I'd think what's going on but at the time, I thought it was great."

Development Tour semi-final

Initially reaching a Development Tour semi-final after only a few weekends, it served as a big confidence booster.

"That really helped me mentally because I'd been playing some ok stuff in practice and at Super League and I didn't think I was taking it to Development Tour. The first two weekends, I'd put 150 in total and then I went out to Germany and I think I put 900 on the rankings which was a big thing for me and it gave me a lot of confidence that I can actually compete at that level.

Challenge Tour title and ProTour debut

To eventually go on and win his first Challenge Tour taking down close friend and fellow rising star, Owen Bates coming from 4-2 down.

"There was a problem with like air blowing in the venue so I really struggled in the first three games so I was quite lucky to win those. Twice my opponent missed match darts. Coming off those games, I had two tough games and onto the final, Owen is a good mate and a very good player. Coming back from 4-2, he wasn't missing anything and he was scoring heavy. It was just managing to get that dart at double and fortunately I did."

This led to a Players Championship call-up and he has been an ever present meaning his darting rise has come full circle.

"I was the over the moon about that. I was trying to figure out whether I was likely to get in looking at last year four people dropped out of the first one. It turned out I was quite lucky as Christian Kist and Andy Boulton went to the European Tour qualifiers."

This has also included some good results such as a win over two-time World Champion, Adrian Lewis.

"That was really nice. Watching darts Adrian was probably one of my favourite players so to play against him, it was really good for me. It was hard to not watch him throw, to win that game it gave me a lot of confidence going forwards."

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PDC Cameron Crabtree

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