“I’ve been awful this year, but in this last month I’ve been using new darts and they went alright today”

CALLAN RYDZ ended his two-year title drought thanks to World Champion Michael Smith’s advice.


The Bedlington battler beat Dave Chisnall 8-7 in the Players Championship 19 final.

Rydz, 25, openly admitted he was in a “horrible place” after losing a match in May but is now fighting back to better form.


He said “I’ve been awful this year, but in this last month I’ve been using new darts and they went alright today.


“I’ve always thought about slowing down, sometimes I was a little bit too quick for myself, but it worked for me today.


“Today I didn’t play fantastic all day, but I was hitting the right shots at the right time. It’s baby steps for me, and today was a big step.”


Rydz admitted that missing July’s Betfred World Matchplay had been a blow as he struggled for form and confidence – but that advice from World Champ Smith has helped his resurgence.


He added: “Michael tells me all the time that setbacks are there to make you stronger, and this last couple of years have been a big setback.


“Some of the advice I didn’t normally listen to, I’ve started listening to and I think I’m turning into a little bit of a better person.”


Rydz produced some sparkling darts during his run to the final, defeating both Gabriel Clemens and James Wade with ton-plus averages.


He outgunned two-time World Champion Peter Wright and reigning European Champion Ross Smith.


Scottish thrower Cameron Menzies enjoyed a remarkable day, averaging 114.58 as he saw off Rob Cross and over 104 and 106 respectively in wins over Mike De Decker and Gian van Veen in his best run for four years on the ProTour.


Wade’s five wins saw him reach a second semi-final of the year.


By Phil Lanning


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