Chris Dobey impresses at UK Open qualifiers
Chris Dobey reached the fifth round of the UK Open qualifier two at the weekend and he has his sights set firmly on the task at hand.
The Bedlington ace went into the weekend of darts action at the Robin Park Tennis Centre off the back of an impressive debut at the World Championships back in December.
And his venture into the last 16 on Saturday has all but stamped his ticket to the main competition, which takes place in March.
He said: “Last year I didn’t get a penny. I won every first round game and lost after that. To qualify for the UK Open is a bonus.”
Dobey began by beating Adrian Gray 6-3 on Friday before being edged out by 2015 World Grand Prix winner Robert Thornton in the second round.
“On the Friday, I was using new darts,” he said. “I just tried to play and not think about it, I played my own game, but struggled a bit with the new darts.
“I gave Robert a bit of a game in the second round, but I missed a couple of doubled to go 5-2 up and he pulled it back with three 14-dart legs.
“He went and won the game 6-5. I couldn’t really grumble, but I knew I didn’t play as well as I can with my old darts.
He had his best day of the weekend on Saturday when he advanced all the way through to the last 16 of qualifier two, beating Andy Parsons, Ryan Meikle and Rob Cross before thrashing 2015 UK Open semi-finalist Stephen Bunting to set up a match with Ian White – which he lost 6-2.
The 26-year-old believes he was “happy” with the way he performed and the Bedlington darts professional reprimanded his opponents on an impressive day.
He added: “It was a brilliant game with Stephen, I didn’t miss much, I knew I had to be there with my scoring as well as my doubles.
“Stephen played alright, but he was a bit patchy on his finishing. Fortunately for me, I got away with that and punished him with my finishing.”
Dobey concluded his weekend by reaching the second round, where he lost 6-3 to Gray, and now has his sights set firmly on qualifiers four to six next weekend.
He said: “Normally you just have to win two games to get to the third round, but I have to just play my game.
“It was just the case where I missed doubles and I wasn’t scoring as well as I should be and normally do.
“It was my fault, but I’ll be there next weekend to put it right and hopefully it’ll get sorted.”