Darts: Rossington thrower Brandon Walsh set for second appearance at UK Open
Brandon Walsh first tasted UK Open darts action six years ago and now he is back for more.
The Rossington thrower first qualified for the finals weekend of the so-called FA Cup of darts in 2011.
Then 18, his qualification looked to be the start of a promising career with the PDC.
But a terrible accident suffered by his dad forced him away from the oche until last year.
And he has capped his return to the sport by earning his place at the UK Open for the second time.
“Things were going well for me but my dad suffered a really bad accident, ended up in intensive care and suffered brain damage,” he told the Free Press.
“It got to a stage when I had to start contributing to the household. I took on the burden of the mortgage for a while.
“In that time darts became a bit of an unwanted distraction. Practicing was a chore and it was very difficult to motivate myself.
“Through my dad’s rehabilitation, it was a couple of years before he was back right again. He’s okay now.
“As time went on, my girlfriend Zoe was getting increasingly fed up of me saying how good at darts I was.
“She bought me some new darts and told me to get practicing.
“Now I’m at least the level I was at when I was playing regularly and I’m probably even better.”
The 23-year-old – now living in Hatfield with partner Zoe – will face James Carroll in the first round at Minehead on Friday after qualifying through a regional event at Riley’s in Leicester
He said: “I’m hoping to get as far as possible, bank some prize money and look to get through the Q School next year.
“I’ll be playing in the Development Tour for the rest of the year and hopefully do well in the rankings.
“Then next year I want to earn my Pro Tour card and compete with the best.
“I’m playing really well at the minute so I’m confident going into the UK Open.”