Former world number one and 2005 World Matchplay champion Colin Lloyd gives Live-Darts an insight into life as a professional as he builds up to an important period in the Darts season.
Summer is here and that marks the start of a busy spell as I turn my attention to the UK Open in Bolton.
I travelled out to Vienna for the first European Tour event in May. In the first round I beat Ian White 6-3 and produced my highest ever match average of 111.03 which I was very pleased with. I then came up against Michael van Gerwen and ended up losing 6-1. I wasn’t too downbeat though because Michael threw really well, he had a 99 average and a 100% checkout rate which included a few ton-plus finishes so fair play to him.
I was very impressed with the way the event was ran; the venue was great and it looks like they’re a great addition to the tour and could potentially shake up the rankings with the prize money they offer.
May saw me lose my top 16 status for the first time in over a decade, but trust me I’ll be back up there sharpish. It’s disappointing because the only other player to hold that position for that long would be Phil Taylor which makes it quite a solid achievement.
The way I look at it now is that the only way is up because I’m playing a lot better, my confidence is a lot better and I’ve got a challenge now to push myself back into the top 16 which is where I feel I should be.
I had another good run at the UK Open qualifying weekend in Birmingham. On the Saturday I made it to the Quarter-Finals before losing to Terry Jenkins who went on to win the event. Along the way I beat James Wade 6-0 and Mervyn King 6-1 and I think that shows my intentions for the rest of the year.
I was very unprofessional on the Sunday, couldn’t get going and ended up losing 6-5 to Sam Hill in the first round. I was safe in the knowledge that the hard work had been done in the other seven events to ensure my qualification and that I would enter at the third round stage rather than having to play on the gruelling opening night. I’m looking forward to the UK Open and I’m very upbeat about my chances so hopefully I can have a good run.
It’s been a slow start but I’m feeling no pressure, nice and relaxed and I’m ready to give it a real go in the second half of the year.
I had an evening with the staff at the IMG bank in London, a big thank you to Paul Star - the event organiser, I had a fantastic night and threw some great darts. There are some times at an exhibition I can have a bit of fun but also I think to myself right let’s turn in some good legs, just to know that it’s there and that’s what I did and I had some great legs much to the delight of the staff.
I went over to Ireland to see my sponsor John McHale at his Stretford End bar. The new extension on the back of the pub has just been completed and he’s looking to host a few events and exhibitions there. A nice little feather in John’s cap is that he’s entertained Phil Taylor there before and his guys contacted him asking if he could host one of Phil’s new ‘find a protégé’ events so it’s great for John to be recognised like that.
While I was over there I did a few exhibitions and I had a cracking night at the Cosy Inn. Everyone there made me feel so welcome; I was never at a want for a drink at any time and the extent they went to to make it such an accommodating night was very humbling. They assembled a huge marquee outside and built an oche and stage set which was superb, so well done to all the guys there and if any other pros get a chance to do an exhibition at the Cosy Inn I would recommend it 10/10.
I’ve just started doing a series of exhibitions for World of darts in partnership with Punch Taverns. I did my first one in Pentre in Wales and again what a brilliant time I had. I went not knowing what to expect and it was a fantastic night which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. One thing I would say though is - Ross, don’t forget to buy yourself an abacus…it will help!
May 25 marked two years since I moved back to Colchester. It’s been a great move to come back home, I feel nice and relaxed here, we’ve got lovely neighbours and not to mention Carol’s vegetable patch, which is coming along great guns and saves us a few pennies at the supermarket!
I was honoured to be asked to open the Great Horkesley village jubilee fate and I’ve also got a charity Golf day coming up with my snooker pal Ian McCulloch which I look forward to.
That’s all from me this month, as well as the UK Open I’ll be heading to the various Players Championship events in June and also the second European event in Germany, so I hope to go and do some damage in those. All that leaves me to do is find a space in August to go on Holiday - Carol wants to go to Vegas but I’m not sure!
I’d also like to say a big thank you to my sponsors for their continued support: McHale’s Stretford End bar, Target darts and L-Style.