By Phil Lanning
ROBERT THORNTON vowed that Phil Taylor will be “leathering” the dartboard in a bid to win the first World Seniors Championship.
The Ayrshire ace joined the inaugural tournament and faces 1988 World Champion Bob Anderson in a cracking opening clash when it starts on February 3.
But Thornton, 55, is adamant that The Power is the man to beat when the new event kicks off at the Circus Tavern.
He said: “I know Phil, this is a new trophy and he wants his name on it first. He’s going to be leathering that dartboard. He definitely won’t be taking it easy.
“All these guys in the tournament are very capable. They’ve got the winning mentality and competitive streak. Bob is going to be very tough to play against, they all are.”
The draw has thrown up some interesting ties. Favourite Taylor could face the prospect of taking on Peter Manley if he beats Deta Hedman.
The Power and Manley were bitter rivals after three world final wins for Taylor, two of which were 7-0 drubbings.
Thornton faces 10-times Ladies World Champ Trina Gulliver if he gets past Anderson. But he fancies another crack at Taylor, the man he beat to win the UK Open nine years ago.
He added: “I know I’m playing well. I’m not going to keep throwing this good and keep losing.
“I’m the rookie in amongst this lot in the seniors, the spring chicken. It’s like being re-born!
“I’m looking forward to it because they are all great guys, it will be a more relaxed atmosphere but we’ll all still want to win, trust me.
“You are going to walk in there and it’s like a step back in time, a time warp. Almost a twilight zone!”
Thornton missed out regaining his PDC Tour Card last week but says he’ll be back and is far from winding down his career.
He has done remarkably well to keep playing to such a high standard despite a plethora of personal heartbreak over the years.
He added: “I’ve got the seniors, online and the Challenge Tour to keep me very busy. I’m only 55, I’m not finished yet.
“At Q School I was unlucky with a couple of the results, that’s the way darts goes.
“Some people have good days and it just works for them. You just have to accept that Q School is tough like that. It’s absolutely mental.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.