Whitlock has strongly defended his choice of equipment (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Simon Whitlock has defended his choice of dart points amid suggestions they damaged the board during his matches at the 2019 World Matchplay in Blackpool.
Whitlock suffered an 11-2 rout at the hands of a red hot Peter Wright in Round Two on Wednesday and became the subject of debate on social media with regards to his style of points.
The Australian is renowned for tinkering with his setup, particularly the points of his darts, and was using custom-made points with a rougher grip in order to reduce the risk of bounce-outs which have plagued other players in recent months.
The Unicorn Eclipse HD2 board, which is used in all PDC competition, appeared worse for wear early on in the match, with many suggesting Whitlock’s aggressive points were to blame.
Whitlock, however, has taken to Twitter to strongly defend his equipment, insisting the custom points are necessary to combat problems caused by what he believes to be sub-standard boards.
‘There are many pros who have taken to using varied points to compensate for the inconsistency in the standard and quality of the boards,’ posted Whitlock.
‘I chose to amend my equipment like many other pros rather than moaning online and just accepting the quality of the boards.
‘I have done nothing wrong ONLY try and improve my game and have less bounce outs and allow my dart to enter the board and remain in the board at the correct angle for the following dart to lay correctly.
‘The constant singling me out is annoying and unjust.’
Unicorn have been the PDC’s official dartboard supplier for more than two decades and signed a five-year extension to the current deal in 2016, meaning their boards will continue to be used across the entire PDC system until at least 2022.
The current dartboard model has been in use since 2016 and has attracted criticism from a number of top players in recent months, including Nathan Aspinall and Unicorn-sponsored Michael Smith.
Unicorn bosses have continuously defended the product, with Managing Director Edward Lowy branding gripped points as ‘wrecking machines.’
Responding to a tweet, Lowy added: ‘The reality is that not that many players complain. I believe the PDC will be publishing some info about a recent survey of players. 50% of the players responding said the boards were too hard, 50% said they were too soft.’