Defending champ Glen Durrant needs to overcome his BOGEY player to emulate the greats of the game.
The Middlesbrough marksman kicks off his bid to retain the BDO World Championship against Gary Robson today (Sunday).
No 1 seed Durrant, 47, is aiming to match the feats of Eric Bristow and Raymond van Barneveld as the only players to retain the world crown after winning it for the first time.
But he fears facing his jinx rival Robbo, revealing: “Scott Mitchell told me my first game as world champion will be my toughest game.
“I always said there wouldn’t be any pressure once I’ve won the world title, but Scott says that’s when I will feel it.
“I won’t be heartbroken if I don’t win the world title again, but at the same time, I don’t want to be remembered as a flash in the pan. I want to win it again - and not many players have retained it.
“I’ve got a tough draw. I’ve played Gary six times – and he’s beaten me five times. Everyone has a bogey player – and I happen to have possibly drawn mine in the first round!”
Durrant hasn’t been that active on the circuit since his world-title triumph, concentrating instead on exhibitions and his job for the local housing association.
But he has still won the Welsh Open, Denmark Masters and England Matchplay – and was only a double 12 away from a nine-dart leg at the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton in November.
He added: “I didn’t need the money anyway!
“The Grand Slam showed that I can still play on the big stage. That’s my confidence boost going into the BDO World Professional Championship.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)
Photography by BDO / DGmedia