Rushden’s James Richardson believes he is capable of a good run in the ‘FA Cup of Darts’ this week.
‘Ruthless’ will begin his campaign in the PDC’s Speedy Services UK Open at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton in the second round after earning enough money on the ProTour to avoid the preliminary and first-round matches.
Richardson, who shot to fame with an incredible 3-0 win over five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld at the Ladbrokes World Championship in December, is due to be involved in the last game on the main stage on Thursday night as he faces Jim Walker.
The draw for the third round, which begins on Friday and includes the top 32 players in the world, takes place directly after that match and Richardson’s only focus is on being in the hat.
“I know I am only one win away from the third round but I have to concentrate on Jim because he is a good player,” Richardson said.
“I believe I have the game to beat him and such is the format of this competition that if you can get that first win under your belt then anything can happen.
“I just want to go as far as I can and I am in decent form so I am capable of a good run.
“We have a Players Championship in Birmingham next weekend as well and I am in the chasing pack to play in qualifiers for the World Matchplay so that is also in my thoughts.
“I won the Northants Open over the weekend, which is a big tournament, and I won another smaller one in Corby on Monday so I am feeling good.
“The UK Open is one of the majors and I am really pleased to be involved.”
Irthlingborough’s Kevin McDine is also in the UK Open and begins in the preliminary round earlier on Thursday. He could face Daventry’s Matthew Edgar in the second round later in the evening.
Kevin ‘The Artist’ Painter, who was involved in this year’s McCoy’s Premier League, joins the competition in the third round on Friday.