European Open winner Peter Wright full of confidence ahead of World Matchplay
World finalist says equipment tweaks will see his averages go up
Last Updated: 18/07/14 7:52pm
Peter Wright believes that he will get "better and better" after claiming the biggest title of his career in the build-up to the World Matchplay.
The World Championship finalist scooped the £20,000 first prize in last weekend's European Darts Open in Dusseldorf, defeating Simon Whitlock 6-2 in the final.
Wright also saw off Kevin Painter, Andy Hamilton, Justin Pipe and Michael Smith - with a brilliant 111 average - during the European Tour event, with the win returning him to fifth in the PDC Order of Merit.
The Scot takes on Lakeside Champion Stephen Bunting in the World Matchplay in arguably the tie of the first round, and is in confident mood ahead of Monday's BetVictor World Matchplay clash at the Winter Gardens.
"The last time Stephen played me, in the 2013 UK Open, the bookies had him as favourite and I smashed him 9-2 with a 108 average," said Wright.
"At the time, I was only about 16 or 17 in the world but I'm playing better darts than I've ever played.
"The Premier League's helped me and that's why I'm enjoying the bigger events like the European Tour events and looking ahead to Blackpool.
"I'm used to the big stage now and I've learned to milk the crowd and enjoy playing in front of them, and I think I can get better and better now."
Wright has yet to win past the second round of the World Matchplay in three previous attempts, but believes that he is in better shape than ever heading to the Winter Gardens this year.
"Blackpool's a great place to play darts and a lovely venue," he added.
"In the last few years when I've played there, I've not been quite right and feared some of the big stages but now I don't fear playing anywhere and I'm really looking forward to this year."
Wright has followed the example of reigning World Matchplay champion Phil Taylor by tinkering with his darts set-up to try and hit top form, but believes that his latest set of arrows can make him invincible.
"They're starting to go really well and I felt pretty confident going to Dusseldorf - even with Michael van Gerwen in my half of the draw I was confident I could get to the final or win it," he said.
"I've tweaked my darts again and been playing with a new set of darts for about a month now. I've tried at least 15 sets in the last eight months or so, with different weights, different flights and stems and even different styles of throw.
"There's no point trying out the darts in practice against your mates because you're not under the proper pressure that you would be in a competition, so the best time to do it is to use it in a proper game. I'm in that next zone now, ready for anybody, even Michael van Gerwen.
"I got to the semi-finals of the Austrian Open, missed a few doubles in the Gibraltar event and then tweaked my darts again and won in Dusseldorf - but there's plenty more to come.
"The 111 average I had against Michael Smith is the kind of average that I think can be coming regularly with these darts."