Polly James: Gezzy has the licence to thrill!
EVERYONE is talking about James Bond this week.
But forget about Daniel Craig, I’m not interested in double-oh-seven, I just can’t wait for the double-start BoyleSportsWorld Grand Prix!
I am totally buzzing because I am making my debut as a reporter for Sky Sports at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
This really feels like the start of the darts season in some ways. It’s solid arrows now we are into the autumn and winter months. I love it.
That also means the players will be extra focused on making a statement of intent for the World Championship.
Gerwyn Price is the man with a licence to thrill on the oche. He won the Grand Prix a year ago and went onto be World Champ of course. He will want to start the autumn in dominating form to show his rivals that he is the one to beat.
Obviously it’s been quite a tough year for Gezzy, missing out on the Premier League because of a positive Covid test was a huge blow. He then saw Peter Wright in blistering form win the World Matchplay.
But like a true fighter he will come back all guns blazing. He will be loving it that he won in Gibraltar last weekend, beating Michael van Gerwen on the way. Gezzy will want to keep getting those big results.
However he has been given a blockbuster draw with Michael Smith. What a belter that will be on Sunday night.
What about the rest of the big guns? Wrighty has been in the best form probably all summer with the Matchplay win and, most recently, the World Cup.
But he has never won the Grand Prix and his best finish was runner-up in 2018. He’s also got a tricky opening draw taking on Rob Cross, who is due a big win at some stage.
MVG will be desperate to lay down a marker that he’s back in business. He will definitely be in the mix, only fools would rule out Mighty Mike.
For me, Jose de Sousa is always a dark horse because he’s so unflappable while Brendan Dolan has been in great form.
Jonny Clayton is also going so great while I’m surprised James Wade has never won it either, just runner-up twice. He’s so lethal on double tops or double 10, The Machine has to be a contender if he’s in the mood.
Will we also get another shock like the aubergine king Dirk van Duijvenbode, who made it to the final last year.
Sometimes the double-start can be a great leveller. Robert Thornton was a surprise winner a few years back as well. Someone like Joe Cullen or Luke Humphries might fancy their chances. They definitely have the ability.
Whatever happens it’s going to be a lush week. It starts on Sunday right through to the final on Saturday, October 9, every match live on Sky Sports.
I’d usually be at home with a curry or pizza with my feet up watching every dart go in. But instead I’ll be getting the inside info for TV.
Bring it on. Don’t miss it.