Gold Coast player Robbie King practises at Southport following his semi-final appearance in Brisbane. Photo: Richard Gosling
Gold Coast player Robbie King practises at Southport following his semi-final appearance in Brisbane. Photo: Richard Gosling

Coast darts king targets Taylor

HOMETOWN hero Robbie King has his sights on 16-time world champion Phil Taylor when the International Pro Darts Showdown hits the Gold Coast on Wednesday night.

The 24-year-old from Southport just missed out on a final clash with "The Power" in the first leg of the series in Brisbane after losing to Andy Hamilton in the semi-final.

"I was gutted. I really wanted to make the final so that I could play him. Hopefully I can play well on the Gold Coast and get the chance to play him," said King, ranked No.8 in Australia.

It was a promising start for the Southport welder in the inaugural Pro Darts series which will also travel to Townsville and Mackay.

"I think I played pretty well. It's the first time I've played on the big stage so I was happy with my performance," said King, who admitted he was not good enough in his 7-3 semi-final defeat against Hamilton, a former world championship semi-finalist.

"I played better in the previous game. It's just one of those things. I've got to prepare better for playing for two days and make sure I get pumped up.

"Hopefully I can do better on the Gold Coast. I got a taste of it in Brisbane. Now I can't wait to get out there and play on the Gold Coast."

The Brisbane event - which Taylor won with a 7-0 victory over Hamilton in front of a sell-out crowd - was an eye-opener for King.

"I've been to big tournaments before but I've never played in front of a crowd that big," said King, a member of the Paradise Darts club at Southport.

"I was getting stopped on the way to the car. It was awesome. The tickets have sold well for the Gold Coast and I've got heaps of family and friends coming. I can't wait."

King's first opponent at the Gold Coast Events Centre on Wednesday will be American No.1 John Kuczynski.

 

Darts great Phil Taylor.
Darts great Phil Taylor.

The pair met five years when King was a junior with Johnny K taking the honours but a more mature King is hopeful of getting the result this time around.

If he does progress, there are plenty of other top players standing in his way, including Australian No.1 Simon Whitlock, who will return to the Professional Darts Corporation's Premier League this year after a stellar season, Aussie No.2 Kyle Anderson and South African No.1 Devon Peterson.

For King, who plays on the Dartplayers Australia circuit, this is just a taste of what he hopes will be to come.

He got the darts bug as a 14-year-old when he went along with his dad to a local competition at Mudgeeraba and won a couple of games.

He has since progressed through the Queensland junior and senior competitions and is now chasing the ultimate goal: "I want to move over to England and make a career out of darts.

"I've still got plenty of time. I'm only 24. I'm definitely on track, I'm always trying to improve."

A few tickets are still available for the International Pro Darts Showdown at the Gold Coast Events Centre on Wednesday and Thursday. Go to http://www.prodartsshowdownseries.com.au/


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