Mark Webster aiming to use European Tour as building block back to the top

Jamie Shaw in Live Darts TV 9 May 2018
Webster celebrates at the 2017 Grand Slam (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Former Lakeside World Champion Mark Webster has identified the European Tour as a crucial stepping stone to climb back up the world rankings.

Webster, 34, has dropped to 39th in the PDC Order of Merit after failing to qualify for a televised tournament or European Tour event so far this season.

The Welsh left-hander, however, enjoyed a fine run to the Quarter-Finals of a Players Championship event in Barnsley last month, defeating the likes of Kyle Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld en route, and is quietly confident his form is beginning to turn the corner.

"The last couple of months have picked up," said Webster, speaking in Episode 7 of Live Darts TV.

"I was disappointed to miss out on the UK Open but I had two positive weekends in the last two competitions, I just need to start qualifying for those European Tour now because that's where the big jumps in the rankings are.

"I've missed the first six now so with seven left to play for I've got to be looking to get in a few of them.

"You've seen the impact they made for Jonny Clayton when he won one.

"There's guaranteed money and who knows what can happen."

Webster is now the fourth highest ranked Welshman in the PDC behind Gerwyn Price, Jonny Clayton and Jamie Lewis, meaning he will miss out on a place in Wales' World Cup team for the first time.

Webster has twice finished runner-up in the pairs competition (2010 and 2017) and is backing Price and Clayton to go all the way in Frankfurt.

"I've probably been a bit fortunate to stay in it for the last couple of years but if it was my last time I think I went out on a high," added Webby.

"We got to the final and it was only Michael van Gerwen and Ray [Van Barneveld] that stopped us.

"You can't begrudge Jonny Clayton, that's a very good team with him and Gerwyn, I think they'll make the final as long as they're in the opposite half to the Netherlands.

"Robert Owen had a run to the Semi-Finals of the UK Open, Richie Burnett is playing a bit better now so it's healthy competition for places.

"Unfortunately I won't be there this year but I'm hungry to go back, I'm not done with the Welsh team, whether I go back neat year or in a few year's time - I think I'll play again."

Webster is currently 53rd on the ProTour Order of Merit and is facing an uphill battle if he is to qualify a number of the remaining major tournaments this years.

Having struggled with symptoms of dartitis in recent years, the Denbigh ace has made forced changes to his throw and has set his sights on returning to Alexandra Palace for the World Championship in December.

He added: "I've started too slowly to get into Blackpool [World Matchplay] or Ireland [World Grand Prix] but I'm playing better now, beating players that are ranked above me which is positive.

"I was generally not beating players above me, I hadn't done since I beat Darren Webster in November until about a month ago so that was a concern which I've addressed.

"It was well-documented I was struggling with dartitis so my throw changed to get over that.

"My fingers were in different places on the barrels so I've just had to adapt to that and I'm finally getting used to it now.

"I'm a bit more relaxed, my main objective is to get in the World Championship and if I can do that I'll be really pleased."



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Mark Webster aiming to use European Tour as building block back to the top

Former Lakeside World Champion Mark Webster has identified the European Tour as a crucial stepping stone to climb back up the world rankings.

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