Daryl Gurney knows what it’s like to face ‘The Power’ — and feels he has the beating of the greatest ever dart thrower.
Londonderry player Gurney lost 4-1 to 14-times World champion Phil Taylor at the Killarney Darts Festival in October but believes the scoreline flattered ‘The Power’.
“Phil Taylor isn’t unbeatable. Although he beat me 4-1 I had chances to win more legs,” said the 23-year-old, who begins his bid for the £325,000 BDO World title on Monday night when he faces England’s Scott Mitchell at the Lakeside Country Club in Surrey.
Gurney made his Lakeside debut last year, beating Garry Thompson before being edged out by 2007 World champion Martin Adams, who went on to lose to eventual champion Ted Hankey in the semi-finals.
“Scott Mitchell is a good player, the number 14 seed,” said Gurney.
“I have played Scott once before — in a tournament in Wales last year — and beat him so I am hopeful of getting a result. But I am mentally prepared for a hard, tight game,” he added.
Gurney qualified for the televised stages courtesy of his World number 22 ranking.
“It’s the first year I have played the full tour so it was a fairly good first attempt.
“I’m splitting my time at the moment between practising and watching the PDC World Championship.
“I would say the difference between the BDO and the PDC is that to do anything worthwhile in the PDC you really need to be playing full time, while in the BDO you can just about get away with being part time. It has to be your job if you are in the PDC.
“I would certainly go full time if I could get sponsorship but that isn’t easy given the current recession,” said Gurney, a plumber by trade.
The north west is well represented at Lakeside with Martin McCloskey, originally from Londonderry and now living in Donegal, in first round action on Monday night against number 11 seed Steve West.