World Matchplay: The world’s No. 2 golfer, Gerwyn Price, has yet to take home the Phil Taylor Trophy at the World Matchplay in Blackpool, but he is committed to doing so.
With three Grand Slam of Darts victories in four years, coupled with victories in the World Grand Prix and World Cup of Darts, the Welshman has established himself as a consistent winner on the PDC circuit. He was also named world champion for the first time in January 2021.
In 2015 and 2021, “The Iceman” advanced to the quarterfinals in the Winter Gardens, although he appeared to struggle with the competition’s arduous leg-by-leg format.
The Markham thrower is determined to get things right this time.
“I want to win every major this year,” said Price, who plays Germany’s Martin Schindler on Monday evening. “The World Matchplay is probably the second-biggest ranking event of the whole calendar, so to win that one would be special.
“I want to win the Grand Slam again too, because people can’t seem to beat me in that venue, but I want to win this title first.
“I’m looking forward to it [the Matchplay]. I need to play my A-game all the way through if I want to win it, because everybody is playing well, and anybody can beat anybody these days.
“I’m on the practice board, I’m playing well and I’m looking forward to Monday night.”
James Wade is eager to celebrate the 15th year since winning the World Matchplay championship with additional success by the water.
When Wade defeated in the final of the Winter Gardens tournament in 2007, he was 24 years old and had just lost the previous year’s championship to Phil Taylor.
Since then, he has advanced to the final four times, falling to Taylor three times and Michael van Gerwen once. He considers this to be his favourite competition, with this year’s edition getting underway on Saturday.
“I can’t believe it’s 15 years since I won in Blackpool. It’s a long time but it doesn’t feel like it,” said Wade, who opens his campaign against Martin Lukeman on Sunday.
“Winning it any year would be memorable, but I think it irritates me that I haven’t won in a while. Another World Matchplay victory would be incredibly nice.
“I want to win every tournament I play in, but this one means a little bit more to me. It’s always meant more to me, I don’t know if it’s because it was the first TV tournament I won, or I just like the venue.
“It is my favourite venue, definitely. The first time I played there in 2006 was amazing and it was the first big stage where I got to the final.”
Wade added: “There’s something there and I still can’t put my finger on it, but something is a bit special for me. There are so many different little factors that it could be, or it could be the fact that it is my favourite tournament.
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