Daryl Gurney set to commence World Grand Prix title defence

Londonderry's Daryl Gurney.
Londonderry's Daryl Gurney.

Daryl Gurney will return to the scene of his greatest triumph when he takes the stage at the City West Hotel in Dublin on Sunday night to start the defence of his World Grand Prix title.

Gurney defeated Simon Whitlock in a deciding set 12 months ago to claim his first television major.

“I can’t believe it has been a year already,” said Gurney.

“Whenever I got to the final I thought this is obviously my first final and you don’t know how it is going to go, Simon (Whitlock) had been there before he could have turned up and battered me, I just kept on having the belief to come back.

“I put myself under pressure because the great players in the PDC that have probably been better than me over the last 10 years haven’t won a major - the likes of Mervyn King and Terry Jenkins and a few others. It was a nice present, especially in Dublin.

“Last year I was playing well. I had the patience to try and win every game and never looked beyond who I was playing and hopefully it will be the same this year,” he added.

“It will be one game at a time. If I hit the doubles I hit last year and do my normal power scoring that could get me into the frame to retain it.”

Gurney faces John Henderson in the first round and with it being the best of three sets with a double in, double out format, there is no margin for error.

“I have got John Henderson in the first round, who I beat in the semi-final last year, but as we all know last year he beat Michael van Gerwen in the first game, who was the defending champion.

“I’m the defending champion so hopefully lighting doesn’t strike twice.

“I’ll be going up there and playing like it is the final because it is such a short format in the first round. Anybody can win and if John goes up and hammers me fair play to him, but if I go up there and play the best I can I’ll be hard to beat.”