Mitchell looks back on comments Van Gerwen: 'I am a big talker, but nothing to try and put anybody off'
In February this year, he did just that after winning a Tour Card on the final day of the 2021 Q-school. Speaking exclusively with Dartsnews, Sam Greasley-Machin caught up with Mitchell to discuss his start to PDC tour life, the emotions of Q-school, a thrilling UK Open contest against Michael van Gerwen and what else we can expect to see going forward.
Scott, how does it feel to be a PDC Tour Cardholder?
“It feels the same as it was actually, I've always been pretty full time whether it be the BDO or PDC.
“The blocks a bit bigger and longer, and the time you're away is a bit longer but the times you’re home is a little bit different so you do get a chance to recharge.”
How was Q-school as you really made it hard for yourself by leaving it all to do on the final day?
“It’s a strange one, I actually phoned my wife after the third day and ‘I'm giving me all here I'm just not having any luck at all. I just need one decent win under the belt and maybe I can get better momentum going in, and that's basically what happened.
“I managed to get one over my friend Alan ‘Chuck’ Norris and I felt really good about that. Then it’s just holding yourself together and start trying to play that game all the way through and luckily enough I did.
“Once you've won the semi-final and know that you've got your Tour Card, the final was the easiest game.”
What was the feeling like on the final day once you won your Tour Card?
“There was a massive weight on my shoulders. I was number one in the Challenge Tour last year until the last two/three events and then I kind of messed that up and I kept telling myself I'll never be in a better position to do it. This was the last chance.”
“It was the same as winning the World Championship it's such a big thing to get a Tour Card and there's probably more pressure on me to go and get a Tour Card than there are other players. Part of it was a relief, but part of it was just sheer joy.”
You’ve played in the Super Series and the UK Open what’s the experience been like so far?
“If you're not on it, you get battered and even if you're on it, you can get battered. You can’t be too overconfident that you can win games because you're not playing one of the bigger names.
“There is no easy game, make one mistake and you're punished. Now I'm playing with better players and that's making me a better player.”
What was it like playing an out of form MvG for your first live TV event as a PDC Tour Card holder?
“I had no inhibitions of feeling that I couldn't beat him, I knew that I could beat him nothing to do with him not playing particularly well. You can only play the player that turns up.
“It was just a case of trying to make sure my game came out. I know the pace and speed I'm happy with and I know frustrates one or two people who think I'm doing it on purpose, but I can assure you I don't.
“You look back at the Lakeside final six years ago I was doing it then, it's just something my mind coach and I worked on. Something I worked on with Bobby George. We said that I was probably better a little bit slower, I was more consistent and I think most people would agree.”
Certainly, your speed was mentioned by MvG afterwards but so was your talking, is that just tactics?
“I am a big talker at the board, I don't talk behind their back. I tend to talk at the board and call myself an idiot. I get a bit disappointed myself and I will say something at the board, but nothing to try and put anybody off; I can assure you that.
That was a thrilling match in the end at 10-8, is that just a flavour of what there is to come?
“Let’s hope so. I felt I was going well, at 8-7 I was really pleased with the shot to go 8-7. That was a turning point in the game for me.
“Punching the air and giving it a large one just put the wind in my sails. But then off he went and reeled three off and I've lost. You remember things like that and I analyse things, so I probably won't do that again.”
The aim for you was to get the Tour Card you’ve done that, now what’s the goal?
“If you're gonna take your Tour Card over two years, it's a must that you make the World Championships. The pro tour is just getting harder and harder and outside of the top ten everybody's really even.
“I think I can achieve getting to the Ally Pally, other things would be lovely. But, if you're going to keep Tour Cards you've got to make it to the Ally Pally and get those first-round dollars on your ranking.”