Darts: In-form Dean Winstanley eyes good run at PDC World Championship

Dean Winstanley
Dean Winstanley
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Dean Winstanley is determined to set the record straight at the PDC World Darts Championship.

The Swinton-born thrower crashed out in the first round 12 months ago – something he is desperate to wipe from the memory when he takes on Wayne Jones in this year’s staging on Sunday.

But you will not catch Winstanley heading to the Alexandra Palace with a steely look upon his face.

He is much more likely to be walking in wearing a big smile after a brilliant year both on and off the oche.

“I just feel like this has been the year when everything has come together for me,” Winstanley said.

“I’ve been playing some excellent darts, I’ve climbed the rankings and I’m really looking forward to the Worlds.

“It’s been a great year for me outside of darts as well. I’ve just moved house and I’m really happy in my personal life.

“Things like that help massively. I had a tough year last year and there was a lot of things going in personally that didn’t help.

“But it’s all going well for me now and I’m confident for this weekend.”

The 33-year-old – who hit a nine dart finish two years ago at the World Championship – has enjoyed his best year since switching from the BDO to the PDC.

Winstanley has risen up to 27th in the world rankings and made nine of the ten televised tournaments.

He also reached a tour event final, a couple of semi finals and six quarter finals as he began to establish himself in darts’ big league.

But he feels the need to continue to prove himself worthy of a place among the big names of the sport.

He said: “I’m always trying to prove myself and show that I belong here.

“A good run in the Worlds will do me the world of good. People know me now but they’ll definitely take me seriously with a good run.

“It didn’t happen for me at the Worlds last year and I don’t want to go through that again.

“I’ve had a good year. I’m up in the rankings and I want to keep going.

“The only big tournament I missed was the Masters and that was only for the top 16 in the world.

“This time next year I want to be in the top 16 and I’m confident I can do that.”

Winstanley is set to take on Jones around 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

Though his record against the Wolverhampton thrower, Winstanley says he will not look beyond his first round opponent.

He said: “I’ve got a very good record against Wayne and it’s a game I’m looking forward to.

“He’s a very experienced head, he’s been on the big stage plenty of times so I know it’s going to be a tough one.

“But I’m confident of beating anyone with the form I’ve been on this year.

“I’ve beaten all the big names except for Michael van Gerwen this year and I seem to have become a pretty good floor player.

“It’s about being more consistent on the big stage and what better place to do it than the biggest stage of the lot.

“All I’m going to do is go and take it one game at a time.

“I’m going there to enjoy the event and enjoy each game.”

Winstanley will head to London today to support training partner and good friend Wes Newton who is in action tonight before turning his attention to his own first round contest.