Hylton^s Frequent Flyer - April 2012
Welcome to Mark & Team Hylton’s regular review of the PDC and open darting world, centered around Red Dragon’s own Mark “Mile High” Hylton’s progress a mix of news views and anecdotes that we hope will be of use and inform.
“April is always a slightly odd month for PDC professionals, the Easter break is extended and usually means at 2/3 weekends with no Pro Tour events. It may however have come at the right time for me this year! After my slow start to 2012 things were beginning to turn back for the better, after straitening out a few background issues (they happen to everyone!) Myself and Team Hylton constructed a new practice and competitive routine in order to re sharpen my instincts and enjoy playing good solid darts again. A combination of more high level practice and a strong open event focus seemed to combine well.
Enjoyable and rewarding Open Event appearances followed with wins and strong places before a solid weekend at The UK Open Qualifiers 5&6 in Barnsley. I am fond of the Barnsley venue as it has very good memories, qualifying for The GSOD & reaching a Pro Tour semi last year. Pre Lims on both days and despite 5 victories over the 2 events, including some very tough games against the likes of Terry Temple and Bernd Roith, I added £600 to my ranking in the UK Open events, whilst this will be enough to ensure qualification it is lower than last year and I intend to do my utmost to reverse this in Birmingham in May. In addition the 1st European Qualifier was held on the Friday and I missed out in the final qualifying round to John Scott despite 8 perfect darts at a 9 darter. Bit of a close but no cigar weekend.
I believe it is coming together well and steady improvement is being made, looking forward to May for more Pro Tour events & Euro Qualifiers, see you soon!” MH
Many of the ranking tables are providing interest this year, the new look Pro Tour rankings are provoking fevered calculations for the purposes of European Tour and Major TV event qualifications. Perhaps the most interesting is that “The Power”’s No.1 status is looking at risk for the first time in years. Adrian Lewis is placed to move past and claim the number 1 slot for the 1st time. Of course this will depend on results from the summer majors and it is equally possible that Phil will retain the edge and then Adrian will be defending £200k at the World Champs……..
The Red Dragon Rankings based on 2012 form are beginning to even out as the PDC season moves into top gear and provide a few interesting sights, Dave Chisnall and Justin Pipe into the top 4 tells its own story about the form of these two players whom in many other ways are direct opposites. The players outside the top 50 reveal as much about the tough start to the season as those in it. Many of the PDC top 16 & BDO World Champ Christian Kist do not feature! I suspect that the better picture will be gained after the UK Open and a few more European Tour events.
The 3rd Way - Open Event
In the same way as PDC events have a little lull in April, the open event tour steps up a gear. Open events of all shapes and sizes come thick and fast due to Easter holidays and a less cluttered calendar. It is a great way to spot those in form for the next few months. John Jukes claimed the Harlow Open, Ian White the Tarpourley Good Friday event, Jabba Caven won at Nottingham, whilst yours truly claimed The Courtyard and The Chase Social. Ian Jones and Nik Fulwell continued there good form in the Birmingham area claiming a fair few events between them. Eddie Dootsun reached the final of the GP in Blackpool and Dave Rolly has been getting to many later stages. Many of those performing well in Opens have also qualified for The UK Open via Rileys or Speedy Hire, I suggest keeping a close eye on them!
Mile High Memoirs
April sees the 12 month anniversary of my joining Red Dragon Darts, it has been a great 12 months with many ups and only a few downs, thanks to Lee, Simon and all at RD for their continued support and assistance with many things.
The day after I had agreed to join Team red Dragon I ventured to Newark for an open Event supported by another of my sponsors Double16.com, by coincidence they had just put new boards up for the event with Sponsored by Red Dragon signs on them! A few hours later and I was the winner of the event and had hit my first competitive 9 dart finish! Great coincidence or signs of a match made in heaven.