Whitlock Hoping to Leave Ando Spinning Around
Simon Whitlock is hoping to leave rivals Spinning Around like Kylie Minogue to grab Unibet Premier League glory.
The Wizard of Oz has revealed that the little pop princess inspired him to his most memorable night on the oche at the PL finals six years ago.
Now Whitlock takes on Dartan Army favourite Gary Anderson at the SSE Hydro tomorrow night (Thurs) hoping for more success after boomeranging back to the big stage.
He said: “I love playing at the O2 the most. The first thing I saw when I walked in was a picture of Kylie Minogue, so I thought that’s pretty cool, another Aussie who’s been here!
“I think the O2 is my favourite venue because it was finals night, that’s what made it so special and then to hit a nine-darter in front of 10,000 people was amazing. I want that feeling again.
“That was the highlight of my career. Making the final and hitting a nine-darter on finals night. That was huge for me and I’ll never forget that.
“In the Premier League there is more pressure, it’s a completely different event to the others. The crowds are also different, they are noisier and bigger, it’s a whole new world.
“I never thought I’d make a living out of darts, I’ve never played for the money, believe it or not. I love the sport and that’s why I still play in my little local leagues. I just play as much as I can.
“But obviously it’s fantastic to make money and earn a living at something that you love doing so much.”
Following a tough spell, the 49-year-old is now the Beard to be Feared again after an excellent start to his Premier League comeback campaign.
Whitlock is fourth in the table on seven points, two ahead of Anderson, which makes their Hydro clash a real four-pointer in the race to the O2.
The Aussie has also beaten Ando in Glasgow before, the year he went onto reach the final in London in 2012.
He added: “I think every time I've played Gary it's been in Glasgow or Aberdeen. The last time I played him I had one match dart and I felt like a little ant on stage. The crowd were so vocal and I felt tiny.
“Gary's absolutely on fire at the moment - I'm scared! I've got a poor record against him - I beat him a couple of times last year, one in a final, but he's a damn fine dart player.
“To miss three match darts last week was disappointing, but then you look back and if someone offered you a point beforehand you probably would have taken it.
“I'm trying to play really well and to try and get some points every week. A lot of people pay good money to watch the Premier League and I don't want to be there to make the numbers up - I want to be there and perform and do my best to try and make the Play-Offs.
“I've had a bad couple of weeks but I'm enjoying the Premier League and it's looking okay at the moment.”
Whitlock also revealed he’s not at all surprised that Rob Cross went all the way to World Championship success.
He said: “My best friend in the Premier League is Peter Wright for sure, we’re good mates and try and practice together. He’s welcomed me with open arms.
“Rob Cross is now finding out what it’s all about now as well. I’m not that surprised by his success last year. I know how good Rob can be and I’ve watched him over the 12 months and he’s just got better and better.
“It wasn’t a surprise to me that he won the World Championship because every time he played Michael van Gerwen he was really close to beating him and he gave him the best games. Well done to him.”
Story By: Phil Lanning
Date : 21-03-2018