INTERVIEW – Mathers on claiming Tour Card, staying with Simon Whitlock and World Series of Darts
Mathers is set for his debut on the PDC ProTour this afternoon on the Super Series in Bolton and caught up with DartsNews.com to reflect on Q-School.
“It still hasn’t sort of sunk in yet but obviously when I’m stood in the room on Thursday afternoon with 127 other professional dart players I’m thinking it might sort of sink in then,” said Mathers to DartsNews.com.
“The first stage they broke it up into, it had to be done.
"It was more nerve wracking than the main stage to be honest.
“In general, it was tough. Obviously due to Covid, you weren’t allowed to interact with everybody. As soon as you lost, you were chased out of the room by security.”
Due to being forced out of the main arena when the action concluded, Mathers said that he had to stand in the rain as he awaited his fate in Milton Keynes.
“In the morning, I thought I needed one more point just to be guaranteed.
"So then after I got beaten, I’d already checked out so I was stood out in the rain for most of the next 2-3 hours just awaiting results.
“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really watching the results on DartConnect. I was relying on other people sending through messages saying there’s another danger out. It felt like an eternity.”
Staying with Whitlock and support from Heta
‘GG’ can count on multiple facets of support while over in the UK staying with ‘The Wizard’ Simon Whitlock since coming over in November.
“I can’t think of anywhere better that I could have been. Simon had a good last six months on the whole tour and in the majors.
“He prepared me like never before, he’s pushed me that hard that if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be prepared enough for Q-School. I don’t think I would have been in the position of being a Tour Card holder.”
But as well as Whitlock, a familiar face in Damon Heta who previously spoke about following his stats on DartConnect during Q-School awaits on Thursday when his journey begins.
“We sort of travelled together the last two or three years obviously before he came over and got a Tour Card last January,” he added.
“So to have Damon and his wife when you get to tournaments to have that extra familiar face is going to be good as well.”
On how flight cancellation led to Q-School dream.
Mathers spoke in his interview with the Weekly Dartscast post Q-School about booking a flight home which was then cancelled which led to him playing in Milton Keynes.
As a result, despite claiming his Tour Card as he admitted it was very much ‘mixed emotions’ in winning through.
“It’s mixed emotions. I wanted to get home, I’m a family man. Got a wife and four kids back home, I wouldn’t have had any regrets.
“James (Bailey) and I, our flight was booked for the 1st of February. We were on the flight and it got cancelled two days before it was due to go.”
But also, in that interview, he spoke about being so close to purchasing a business class seat home which he revealed more about.
“With the flight, I had the bank details in, and I was ready to submit and it timed out. I don’t believe in fate but was it fate I don’t know.”
Over for long haul
In terms of his start to PDC life, he revealed that he has committed till at least April when the calendar currently goes up to and that he will see from there based on a myriad of factors.
“I’ve committed. The wife and I have committed to at least the first lot of (Super) Series that have been announced so at this stage, I’m committed until April.
“Obviously we just don’t know what’s going to happen with Covid with the schedule for the rest of the year, so I’ll wait and see and reassess after April.”
As a proud Aussie, a big part of the darting calendar is the World Series but Mathers himself doubts it will be on once again this year after the Oceanic leg was postponed last time out.
“There’s nothing better than playing in front of your family and friends up on the big stage. If that did come about, I would be more than happy to get back there.
“But I don’t believe it will happen, it might be another 18 months off yet.”