It’s difficult to describe how quickly darts has started to seem like ‘days gone by’ for little ol’ me.
Only a few months back it was tough to see when, or how, the three or four years I had spent rebuilding everything about my game would ever see the light of day! Three times my momentum had been halted by things that were not only outside my control but also totally unforeseeable. Illness, redundancy, and then the dreaded Covid have struck one after another and always just as I was beginning to hit the accelerator pedal.
All of a sudden, as a good friend of mine says, the worm finally turned. An invitation to play in the Modus Live League gave me the chance to get four/five days of top-quality match practice. After a nervy start, I did enough to demonstrate that I had something to offer and I was invited back. It’s safe to say I have been getting better and better ever since.
Since then I have played two more phases of the Live League, recorded 100+ averages, and been competitive with any and all participants. Two Champions Week appearances have been earned and two other weekly finals.
The 2021 Challenge Tour proved a little more of a mixed bag. The two weekends, of 6 events each, show the difference between short-format league-style darts and the PDC’s longer format of back-to-back events, with fields of more than 128 players. With every visit to that PDC environment, I am getting stronger.
When you have scrapped a previously successful method and rebuilt it from top to bottom, each and every game is like a new test, but it also helps refine and polish the new method. Almost straight afterward I claimed another Open event before returning to the Live League where another major box was ticked.
During a fine, free-flowing game with John O’Shea, I hit five treble 20s before switching to t19 due to an obscured t20 bed. From then on it was never in doubt and, after two straight down the middle t20s, the double twelve glided into the middle of the bed without even a flicker of hesitation.
Now, a 9-Darter only wins one leg and is far from an end destination. But, for a returning player, it’s a reminder that you can still do it and that your new technique is indeed, as good as the old.
The New Wizard is passing the milestones one by one. During the first phase of my career I used to joke about getting home swapping travel bags and leaving for the next event. All of a sudden it’s happening again!
Exhibitions are returning as well and I hope to see you all at one soon!
Colin Osborne (@colozzy180) is a former UK Open finalist, winner of the Championship of Darts & multiple PDC Pro Tour titles.
Darts World Magazine (Issue 577) and 2022 bundle offers
Subscribe or purchase your copy