Whitlock looks to positives on Ally Pally return

Simon Whitlock
Simon Whitlock
Ian Bates

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Simon Whitlock is aiming to draw on past experiences when he launches his PDC World Championship charge on Saturday.

The Waterlooville-based Aussie faces Norwich player Darren Webster in the first round of the competition at Alexandra Palace.

While the 45-year-old has struggled to hit top form recently, he believes he can put himself in contention for glory this year.

And the Wizard of Oz, who is seeded seventh, reckons his run to the final in 2010 – where he was beaten by Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor – can spur him on.

He said: ‘I haven’t quite been firing on all cylinders recently, which has been a bit disappointing.

‘But the World Championship is what every player looks forward to – and I feel like I’m ready.

‘It’s a competition which I’ve had some success in previously and I love playing at Ally Pally.

‘So hopefully that will stand me in good stead.’

Whitlock was also a World Championship semi-finalist in 2012 – despite playing with a broken ankle.

And he made the quarter-finals of the competition last year.

If Whitlock can beat Webster, he will face either Dean Winstanley or Wayne Jones in round two on Sunday, December 28.

He will need to hit top form if he is to join the scrap for honours, though.

Whitlock showed glimpses of his best when reaching the last four of the World Matchplay earlier this season.

He also made the final of the Singapore Masters.

But Whitlock, who currently sits seventh on the 2014 Order of Merit, conceded he has not been throwing well.

He insisted he is doing everything to put that right, though.

‘When things aren’t going quite right, all you can do is keep practicing and keep your self-belief,’ said the star, who hails from Cessnock, New South Wales.

‘I’ve been working hard and I’m really looking forward to the most exciting fortnight of the darting calendar.’

n Simon Whitlock is sponsored by Leyland Paints. Michael van Gerwen and Mark Webster are also ambassadors for the leading trade paint manufacturer.