Brierley Hill’s Mark Jones will press on with his “hit or be hit” motto when he makes his PDC World Championship debut.
Jones has qualified for the tournament for the first time and plays on television for only the second time in the first round against Northern Irishman Brendan Dolan at the Alexandra Palace in London on Sunday night, live on Sky Sports.
The 42-year-old plasterer will have revenge in mind after Dolan denied him a first ranking final in a non-televised UK Open ‘floor’ event in March, beating him 6-4 in the semi-final.
But Jones has since rebounded to beat world No 3 James Wade in the Players Championship and No 6 Mark Webster in the Dutch Darts Masters.
Losing 9-4 to Colin Osborne in the 2011 UK Open marked his television debut and ‘Little Mon’ aims to show how far he has come by springing a shock in front of a worldwide audience.
He said: “They are all hard tests, it’s the world’s best after all, but I am looking forward to it. I have played Brendan before and it was a close match so, hopefully, I can do a bit better this time.
“What goes around, comes around, and if I play well on the day I know I have got a chance of beating him. That’s no disrespect to Brendan, he’s a good darter in his own right.
“He’s not world No 20 for nothing. He can play really well, some of the darts I have been seen him throw on the circuit have been unbelievable. He’s a good lad, as well.
“I enjoy my darts and, at this level, they all play well whoever you go up against. There’s not a bad one amongst them, not one.
“I have the attitude that I don’t go anywhere to lose. If I can power score, I am OK, it gives me a bit of breathing space and, if I can get in front, I will feel more relaxed. It’s hit or be hit.”
Jones will play either Michael Smith or Raymond van Barneveld, two-time PDC world champion and Grand Slam winner at Wolverhampton Civic Hall last month, in the second round if he gets through.
But the Black Country darter is just delighted to be a part of the tournament after sealing his place with a third round run in the last Players Championship event of the year at the end of last month.
All he had to do was reach the second round at the Barnsley Metrodome and Jones did just that, rendering a 6-3 defeat to 15-time world champion Phil Taylor almost irrelevant.
He said: “I was over the moon with it, when I qualified in Barnsley I just stood there in silence, I was so shocked. I didn’t know what to say!
“I have put some hard work into it this year and got something out of it, I just hope I can go on to bigger and better things next year. I am happy with my form.”Subscribe to our Newsletter