There’s a lot on the line for John Henderson as he returns to darting action in Germany.
The Huntly thrower is in Niedernhausen and will be in action in the World Series of Darts Finals qualifier tomorrow before five Pro Tour Players Championship tournaments begin on Saturday.
The Highlander is 33rd on the PDC’s two-year ranking list and a place lower on the one-year Pro Tour order of merit. Returning to the top 32 of both – and particularly the latter – is essential for earning a place at next month’s World Grand Prix.
Henderson has played the double-start tournament in each of the last three years and memorably reached the semi-final in 2017, eliminating Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld along the way.
The next six days are the first competitive darts Henderson has played since five Players Championship tournaments in July in Milton Keynes.
Having failed to qualify for the World Matchplay in July, the 47-year-old does not want to be sitting out the World Grand Prix.
Henderson said: “I need to hit the ground running, because if you get off to a good start it builds up the confidence and sets you up for the next few days.
“I didn’t win a game for the first three days in the Summer Series in Milton Keynes and if you don’t, it becomes harder with each passing day.
“I’m £250 off the top 32 in the Pro Tour order of merit and I’m only a couple of thousand off the top 32 in the main order of merit.
“I’m glad I’ve got this opportunity to try to make up the ground and get back in the top 32.
“Missing out on the World Matchplay was a sickener, because if you get to the matchplay you’ve almost got one foot in the World Grand Prix.
“So missing that was a big thing, because the money from playing in it before comes off the ranking and it makes getting to the grand prix harder.
“I’ve got this opportunity to get there and the grand prix has been a good tournament for me in the past and it’s important for me to get there, because it’s always been a good tournament for me.
“Hopefully, over the next week, I can get myself in a position to qualify for it.”