John Henderson was beaten by Rob Cross last year as the Englishman stormed to PDC World Championship glory.
Now the Highlander says Cross’ heroics have made him believe he can go all the way at Alexandra Palace.
Henderson starts his World Championship campaign tomorrow afternoon in the second round against German thrower Gabriel Clemens.
Huntly’s Henderson has enjoyed another good year on the PDC tour and is up to 23 in the world rankings.
Although he is performing well, he is not viewed as one of the favourites to clinch the world title but takes inspiration from Cross, who was ranked at 20 last year and went on to win after beating Henderson 4-1 in round three.
He said: “Rob Cross showed what was possible last year.
“When he went into the World Championships people have said he was a massive outsider, but he was something like sixth favourite.
“He had a great year, he won a few ProTour events and a few European events.
“But 12 months before he was just an electrician and a part-time player.
“I know stories like that can’t happen every year, but he has proved what can be done.
“It shows it can be done and Jamie Lewis reaching the semi-finals from outside the top 32 shows that there is hope for all of us yet.”
Henderson also believes the fear factor surrounding the top players like Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson doesn’t exist any more.
However Henderson plays, he will be confident and he added: “The fear factor from Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson has disappeared a bit.
“People used to be beaten before they had thrown a dart, but that’s not the case now.
“The standard is getting so high and we are playing for so much money that everyone is putting in the effort to improve and get near their standard.
“When you play Michael van Gerwen, you don’t think about him, you think it’s another game where you have a chance of winning.”
When Henderson faces Clemens tomorrow, he is looking to end a poor run against the world No 77.
Clemens, who beat Aden Kirk in the first round on Sunday, has won all three of their previous meetings.
Henderson said: “Fortunately, I know about Gabriel because I’ve played him three times and he has beaten me every time.
“That has been on the floor in the ProTour events.
“I’ve never played him on a stage. Playing on the stage is a bigger game, so hopefully I can get the better of him this time.
“It would be good to end my run against Gabriel because in one of the matches I was 5-1 up and I lost 6-5.
“They have all been close games, but I just haven’t managed to get over the line.
“This is a different game, it’s a different format and there will be a different atmosphere and hopefully I can come out on top.
“Gabriel will be going into the game feeling he can beat me because he has a good record, but up on the stage it is up to him to prove it.”
One thing Henderson hopes can swing tomorrow’s match in his favour is his big-stage experience, with this being his seventh World Championship appearance.
He said: “I would like to think my experience on the big stage can make a difference.
“This is my seventh time at the World Championships so I have got plenty of experience.
“But he has had a match already this year on the stage, which might help him.
“I would like to think experience will pull me through.
“But it is going to be a hard game. I know he can play, there’s no such thing as an easy game up on that stage in this tournament.
“The standard is good now and there is so much quality.
“You go down the rankings and there are boys who are outwith the top 64 and playing really well.
“You need to be on the ball from the first dart and you can’t take anyone lightly because of the standard.”