Ross Smith is no longer just known as a man who holds the European Tour’s most notorious curse.

That’s not just because the ‘curse of Ross Smith’ is no more. He was the only player to have thrown a nine-darter on the European Tour. But Michael van Gerwen (twice) and James Wade have since broken that duck. Van Gerwen struck his second at the European Darts Open, at which Smith made his way to the third round. Reflecting on his own performance, Smith had mixed feelings.
“Fifty-fifty,” was his assessment when speaking to The Weekly Dartscast.
Smith smashed Ricky Williams 6-0 and saw off Simon Whitlock 6-5, before a third round defeat to eventual semi-finalist Peter Wright.
“I was pleased with the performances, but also I’ve got a lot more in the tank, so I was a bit disappointed,” he added.

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

History-maker

His memory of that famous nine-dart finish at the 2013 Gibraltar Darts Trophy are no longer crystal clear, but the Kent thrower looks back fondly on making history six years ago.
“Hitting the nine-darter was an amazing feeling – a bit of a blur now!
“It was quite some time ago. It was great.”

Leaping a hurdle

The 30-year-old recently posted his best finish in a PDC major, reaching the quarter-finals of the UK Open. Smith saw off Dawson Murschell, Yordi Meeuwisse, Alan Norris, Steve West and James Wade before Nathan Aspinall – who went on to lift the title in Minehead – ended his run. It was the victory in the sixth round over world number nine Wade that meant the most to him across the weekend.
“The highlight would have been beating James Wade. He’s a fantastic player, and well up in the rankings,” he said.
“But it was a mentality thing for me, to be able to beat him, because I’d lost the last two TV event [appearances] to James.
“It was a nice little thing to get over, an extra hurdle.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh