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Darts: John Henderson aiming to seize Players Championship chance

Huntly's John Henderson is playing in the Players Championship Finals
Huntly's John Henderson is playing in the Players Championship Finals

John Henderson feels fortunate to be in the Players Championship Finals and is determined to make the most of his opportunity.

The Highlander takes on Gerwyn Price this evening in the first round of the tournament at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

Qualification for the Players Championship Finals is based on entirely on results in Players Championship tournaments this year and early exits from the Autumn and Winter Series events meant Henderson reached the finals sitting in the 64th and final spot on the Pro Tour Order of Merit.

The subsequent withdrawal of Jeff Smith pushed the Huntly thrower a place higher in the seedings.

Henderson said: “You’ve got to relish playing somebody like Gerywn and I’m lucky to be in it.

“I feel lucky to be in it because I was worried I was going to miss out on the Players Championship Finals and the World Championship as well.

“So I’ve been given a lifeline. I was initially supposed to be playing Peter Wright but then Jeff Smith had to pull out because of the travel issues so I’ve move up one in the seeding and now it’s Gerywn Price.

“If you want to do well you need to beat the best players and it’s maybe better playing them in the first round because it’s a short format (best of 11 legs).

“I played Gerwyn in the World Cup and it was one of my best games this year, but I missed doubles again and then once Gerywn gets on top of you he is a great frontrunner and he went on to win.

“I’m lucky to be in it and it’s a great draw so if I can perform well and give him a good game I’ll be happy.”

The schedule for the 2020 Players Championship Finals is below:

http://www.pdc.tv/news/2020/11/24/2020-ladbrokes-players-championship-finals-schedule

This year isn’t one many people will look back on fondly with a global pandemic dominating everyone’s lives.

On top of what has gone on in the wider world, Henderson has been disappointed with his results on the oche.

But he hopes to salvage something from 2020 with improved showings in the Players Championship Finals and the World Championship – which starts on December 15.

He added: “It’s not been a great year for anybody really with what’s happened.

“But it hasn’t been a great year for me, I haven’t had many good results and it’s been hard coming back after the long lay off and I haven’t managed to find form.

“If I can play well and come off the board happy with how I played, whether it’s winning or losing, I want to take that into the worlds.

“If I can do well in the Players and then have a good run at the World Championship it would be a good end to a bad year and then I’ll start afresh in 2021.”

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