Huntly’s John Henderson is on a mission to cause another epic upset in the World Grand Prix.
The Highlander, pictured, starts his campaign in Dublin tomorrow night against eighth seed James Wade.
Henderson has a good record in the double start event. Two years ago he upset world No1 Michael van Gerwen in the first round and fellow Dutchman and legend of the game Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals on his run to the last four.
That performance gives Hendo confidence he can spring another surprise tomorrow against in-form Wade – and embark on another run at the World Grand Prix.
He said: “Beating Michael van Gerwen in any kind of tournament gives you confidence.
“It wasn’t a pretty game when I beat Michael, but the fact you’ve beaten him in a TV event is a great achievement.
“But James Wade will be just as hard because he is on song just now.
“I’m looking forward to it. In the past I’ve said my finishing lets me down and I’m quite a heavy scorer.
“But every year I’ve played in Dublin I seem to start pretty well by hitting the doubles.
“I always say double top is my best mate on a dart board. If my mate turns up I’m capable of beating anybody as I’ve proved in the past.
“I know James won’t miss many doubles, so I’ll have to be on the ball from the start.
“The game will be hard, but I like being the underdog and I think I play better when I’m the underdog.
“Hopefully I can just repeat what I did a couple of years ago and maybe go a step further and reach the final or even go and win it.”
Henderson, pictured, has never played Wade in a TV major before.
But he did beat him last month in one of the PDC’s Pro Tour events.
Although that could be seen as a confidence booster Hendo says it will have no bearing on tomorrow’s encounter which will be on stage in front of a crowd, with double start and set-play format as opposed to matchplay in the Pro Tour event.
He added: “My form on the Pro Tour has been good. I played James in the Pro Tour about a month ago and beat him 6-3.
“I got to the quarter-final that weekend and also hit a nine-darter, so that was a good weekend for me.
“I played well, but I haven’t played James on TV before.
“It’s a different thing on the big stage, so with the atmosphere and set-up for this game, beating him a month ago doesn’t count for much.
“I’m used to the big stage now and it’s not like I can blame crowds or anything.
“I don’t look for an excuse when I lose. If I lose my opponent just threw better darts.”
If Henderson does get through he will face Mervyn King or Dimitri Van den Bergh in round two.