Woodhouse was in a battle with Gian van Veen and Ricardo Pietreczko for the final qualification spot for the World Grand Prix. Woodhouse had the most to do prior to the tournament, but eventually walked away with the prize after a fine quarterfinal run in Budapest. Woodhouse managed to beat the likes of Rob Cross and Peter Wright to reach the last eight of a Euro Tour tournament for the first time in his career. A perfect time, then, for this milestone.
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“I had never made the quarter-finals on the European Tour before; it’s magic,'' Woodhouse reflected in conversation with the PDC. “Coming into the weekend, I knew that a quarter-final was going to have to be the absolute minimum, and then results were going to have to go my way."
Things started to look better for the 34-year-old darter from Bewdley after Gian van Veen's defeat to Damon Heta. “I was nervous watching Gian play against Damon. Gian is such a good player, he can beat anybody. When you’re playing, it’s in your hands. When you’re not, you are relying on somebody else to do the job for you.”
On Tuesday, Woodhouse will play his first round match against Dave Chisnall, who recently won two Pro Tour titles to his name. But after wins over former world champions Cross and Wright, Woodhouse is confident in his own abilities.
“I have been playing some really good stuff recently and I’m full of confidence at the moment," he reveals. “Mentally, I am in a really good place with my game. I feel like I’m maturing as a player and taking the knocks as well as taking the wins.”
Earlier this year, Woodhouse stood in a ranking final for the first time and has since moved up to 44th in the world rankings. With a good result at the World Grand Prix, Woodhouse can make further strides on the PDC Order of Merit.
“Over the last few seasons, you walk into the room and see all these big players, and you’re thinking: ‘Who have you got in the first round?’ Now I think if I play well, I can beat anybody, and making a final on the ProTour made me stand back and realise that I can mix it with the best. It has taken a little bit longer for my belief to progress, but at this moment in time, I believe I can go on and do really good things now.”