Joe Cullen believes that his first ever win in the World Darts Championship has given him the platform to claim a scalp against two-time winner Adrian Lewis in the Second Round on Friday.
After six consecutive First Round exits at the Alexandra Palace, 'The Rockstar' finally broke his duck at the seventh attempt with a high quality 3-1 victory over World Youth Champion Corey Cadby on Monday - averaging 100.88 and hitting six 180s along the way.
World number 29 Cullen, who is appearing as a seed for the first time at the PDC’s blue-riband event, feels that his modest record in the tournament has generally been out of his hands.
However, with the monkey finally off his back, the Bradford thrower is confident of kicking on ahead of his venture into uncharted territory.
“I think I’ve played bad once when I’ve been here, while the other guys have just played better than me all the other times,” he observed.
“I’ve played well and it’s just not happened for me but it has this year so, hopefully, there are many more wins to come.”
Standing in the way of Cullen on Friday is a very tough test in world number five Lewis, who has won each of the last nine meetings between the players but struggled to really hit the jackpot so far this season.
Although, the 27-year-old has demonstrated during the campaign that he knows what it takes to claim a scalp on the big stage, having notably beaten reigning world champion Gary Anderson in front of his home crowd at the Players Championship Finals in Glasgow last month.
Therefore, it is no surprise that he fancies his chances of taking out the two-time champion at the second hurdle.
“I just want to go as far as I can. I feel really confident – I’ve had a decent year, reaching a couple of TV quarter-finals and I’ve played really well,” he added.
“Adrian’s a big name, but I don’t think he’s been playing at his best this year.
“If I play like I can then there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll win.”