Winstanley darts into spotlight at PDC UK Open

OPENING UP: Dean Winstanley will compete in his first PDC major this weekend at the UK Open in Bolton.
OPENING UP: Dean Winstanley will compete in his first PDC major this weekend at the UK Open in Bolton.

DEAN Winstanley is looking to complete his emergence onto the big stage this summer, starting with his first PDC major this weekend.

The Conisbrough thrower has impressed since making the switch to the PDC ranks at the start of the year and will compete in his first TV event since then at the UK Open in Bolton.

He said: “It’s a really exciting time for me, getting ready for my first major as a PDC player.

“I said when I moved over that I wanted to get into as many TV events as I could in my first year and right now I’m on course for all of them.

“Bolton always seems to have a special atmosphere about it with the qualifiers and there’s a really good chance of going a long way.

“I can’t wait for it.”

Winstanley’s strong performances in the qualifying events earned him automatic passage into the third round, alongside Dennis Priestley.

And the Swinton-born former BDO World Championship finalist intends on relaxing as he waits to see who he will face on Friday.

He said: “I’m not really bothered who I get to be honest but I’ll be keeping an eye on things.

“It’s all about what you do yourself when you’re out there, how you respond to things and what sort of pressure you can put on the other kid.

“So it doesn’t matter whether it’s Phil Taylor or a pub qualifier, I’ll have the same approach.”

The 31-year-old is on course to qualify for the next PDC major, the World Matchplay at Blackpool.

He said: “Blackpool seems to be the event everyone enjoys the most and it’ll be a privilege to get there.

“I’ve got a couple of Players Championship events to go but if I keep on how I’ve been doing I should make it.

“I’m pleased with how everything has gone this year so far.

“I’ve been having a bit of trouble with doubles but I’m working on it and I’ve spent a lot of time on the practice board recently.

“I’m motoring up the rankings and I’ll be happy if things carry on the way they have so far this year.”

Mexborough’s Darren Johnson starts in Thursday’s second round against Michael Mansell while South Elmsall’s Mark Lawrence will meet Jamie Robinson in the preliminary round.