Whitlock Wins Sky Sports Wildcard
RED DRAGON’S SIMON WHITLOCK IS FIRST SKY SPORTS WILDCARD FOR WHYTE & MACKAY PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS
SIMON WHITLOCK has been named as the first Sky Sports Wildcard selection for the 2010 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts.
The Australian has been rewarded for his superb run to the final of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a place in this year^s Premier League, which begins at The O2 in London on February 11.
Whitlock is moving from New South Wales to base himself in the UK in 2010, as he bids to follow up his Alexandra Palace success with Premier League glory.
"I^m absolutely thrilled," said Whitlock. "I^ve seen the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts on TV before but to be given the Sky Sports Wildcard is a massive honour.
"I loved every minute of the World Championship and I^m determined to show that I deserve to be on stage alongside players like Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade all the time.
"People tell me the atmosphere of the Premier League is amazing and I can^t wait to experience it for the first time on February 11."
Whitlock knocked out three players he will face in the Premier League during his thrilling run in the World Championship, defeating Terry Jenkins, James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld before going down 7-3 to Phil Taylor in the final.
"Simon^s a fantastic addition to the Premier League and deserves his selection," said Sky Sports commentator Sid Waddell. "He^s a really hard worker and a tremendous talent.
"I think he^ll be a real threat to Taylor at next year^s World Championship and it^s going to be fascinating how he performs week in week out against darts^ biggest names in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League."
Whitlock joins the PDC^s top six in the Sky Sports-televised tournament, with Taylor, Barneveld, Wade, Jenkins, Mervyn King and Ronnie Baxter winning places in the event by right.
Baxter previously competed in Premier League Darts in 2006, missing out on the play-offs in the final night of league action, while Wade claimed the 2009 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts title with victory over King in the final.
A second Sky Sports Wildcard will be announced in due course to complete the eight-player field.