Peter Wright dumped Phil Taylor in a thrilling BetVictor Masters warm-up and admits he feels “refreshed” for the new year.
Snakebite beat The Power in a huge SAP Darts Slam event in Prague as the top oche stars prepared for the first major of the year in Milton Keynes tonight (Friday).
Wright, 48, crashed out of the World Championships to Toni Alcinas in a shock defeat but believes he is now ready for a more successful campaign.
He plays Adrian Lewis on Saturday night and said: “It was a really good game. You know you’ve always got to play well against Phil. He hit a 156 and 128 finish, so he’s still very sharp.
“That was about enjoying myself. I love Phil and I miss him in the game. To be honest I wouldn’t have tried as hard or mucked about against anyone else. He deserves the respect. He’s enjoying his life and doing what he wants to do in his life.
“I feel sharp. It’s the first time I’ve played with the flights and stems, a little bit rusty but potential in them and looking really good. I’m quite happy.
“I feel hungry and refreshed. I feel like the past few years I’ve been approaching the first bit of the Masters like ‘here we go another year’.
“But this year is I want to play darts. It’s like watch out guys!”
Michael van Gerwen takes on Jonny Clayton in MK tonight and overcoming Rob Cross in Prague as the new World Champion looked in excellent form.
The Dutchman has vowed that three world titles hasn’t stopped him being hungry. He added: “It was good preparation for the Masters. Rob is always good so you have to play well against him. It was a privilege to play in this SAP event.
“It was a good show, a high level of scoring and 180s. I’m always ready and sharp for the year ahead. I don’t like losing whatever it is, exhibition or not. I just want to win.
“I’m very hungry still. I’m not going to quit yet, no chance. It’s really bad news for my rivals but they already know that!”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)