He’s caused shocks in the PDC World Championship before – and John Henderson hopes to do it again today.
The Highlander was today set to face Englishman Michael Smith in round three at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Henderson is the underdog for the clash against the world No9. But the Huntly thrower, who is 23rd in the rankings, is taking inspiration from a big shock he caused last year.
Twelve months ago Henderson beat fourth seed Daryl Gurney 4-2 in the second round. He would love a repeat against Smith and said: “I always favour going into games as the underdog.
“I don’t know why that is but I just seem to make things hard for myself when I’m expected to win. I’ll go into this game like I did with Daryl Gurney last year where nobody gave me a sniff.
“After he had beaten me at the World Grand Prix nobody gave me a chance and I did it. It will be the same in this game. Michael Smith got to the final of the Premier League and has had a great year and is looking to win the World Championship.
“It’s going to be tough because I know he doesn’t like playing me. We’ve played on the Pro Tour and in exhibitions and I’ve beaten him.
“It will be a good friendly game, we are good mates off the oche but obviously on the oche it is a big battle.
“But we are good mates off the stage.”
With Peter Wright, Gurney, Raymond van Barneveld, Gerwyn Price and Mensur Sulijovic already out of the tournament, Henderson’s opponent Smith is now one of the favourites.
But Henderson says the St Helens thrower won’t be feeling extra pressure as one of the top seeds left in the draw. He added: “Michael won’t think like that. I’ve known him for a lot of years and he won’t be thinking about that.
“Michael will be thinking he can win it – regardless of who is left in the tournament.
“He has Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen to contend with, as we all have, but they are in a different half of the draw.
“So he will be looking at it thinking he has a great chance, but so am I.
“If you get through this it’s a tough game against Ryan Searle next.
“But it’s just about concentrating on one game at a time.”
Henderson beat Gabriel Clemens last Friday in the second round to set up his meeting with Smith.
In the 3-2 win over Clemens he averaged 95 and had a 62% success rate on his double.
But Henderson still feels he can improve and said: “I’m normally known for the heavy scoring but I don’t feel there was enough of that against Gabriel.
“I had a 95 average so it wasn’t that bad an average. I’ve had worse than that and won.
“But I am playing well and practising well. I’m looking for the scoring and to keep my finishing.
“But it’s one of those things in the next game the scoring might be there and the finishing might not be.
“It’s on the day. It’s the same for everyone – if they are going to go in they will and if they don’t they don’t.”