Suffolk’s Ryan Meikle reflects on his PDC Coral UK Open debut
- Credit: Christopher Dean/Scantech Media
Ryan Meikle is loving life at the moment, having made his PDC Coral UK Open debut at the weekend.
The full-time barber from Rendlesham reached the second round of the prestigious tournament, won by fellow Suffolk player, Peter Wright, who ended his wait for a television title as a result.
After defeating Holland’s Vincent Kamphuis, 6-3, to reach the second stage of the event, Meikle was well beaten, 6-0, by the Justin Pipe, at the Butlins Holiday Resort in Minehead.
This weekend, along with another PDC rookie, Ipswich’s Steve Burton, Meikle heads to Barnsley for the European Tour 1 – UK qualifier on Friday (the 18 who qualify will play in the German Darts Championship, later this month) and the third and fourth Players’ Championship of the season, on Saturday and Sunday.
All PDC tournaments go towards Meikle’s prize-money and ranking position, his aim to be in the top-64 by the end of the year, in order to retain his Tour Card. Meikle is currently in 78th place on the ladder.
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Meikle, who was battling illness and was under the weather in Barnsley, said: “The first game was really tough, I had played him (Kamphuis) before and got through, and luckily I played really well to get through.
“The second round did not quite go according to plan, but fair play to Justin, he played well.
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“I loved it. Just to get there, I made the most of the experience and the whole venue was packed with people watching every board.”
Meikle (20) will be joined by Burton, who recently earned his Tour Card, plus Suffolk veterans, Mervyn King, Andrew Gilding and Wright, for the weekend at the Barnsley Metrodome, and added: “My aim is to finish in the top-64 at the end of the year, which will be tough.
“Because I play on the youth tour too, there is a chance to retain my card that way. The top-two qualify and I am currently third.
“There are a lot of top players on the youth tour and there isn’t much difference between them and the players on the main PDC tour.
“I am busy on the tour, but it’s nice to be able to do that, whilst being able to be a barber too.”