PETER WRIGHT is hoping that Sunday's Melbourne Darts Masters triumph can kick-start his 2018 campaign.
Having risen to world number two during a brilliant 2017, which included his maiden TV title at the UK Open and a World Series victory in Germany, Wright has endured a tougher year so far.
Having reached four ProTour finals and the World Cup of Darts decider during the opening months of 2018, Wright claimed is first tournament win of the year at a Players Championship in mid-June.
Victory at the Hisense Arena on Sunday, where he overcame Michael Smith 11-8 in the final, was a welcome boost for Wright, who also whitewashed Mike Bonser and saw off Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen.
Wright is now preparing to challenge for further honours in the remainder of the year, starting at the Brisbane Darts Masters from August 17-19.
"Winning here feels great," said Wright. "I got to the final last year but couldn't beat Phil [Taylor], so to go one better this year is a sign that I can start to turn things around.
"I lost a bit of my confidence over the last few months and felt like I was getting smashed up by a lot of players and was really struggling with my game.
All the other guys have played well to beat me in past and deserved it, but I said to myself I was going to win this tournament.
"I knew I'd have to beat two Dutch guys to do that, Raymond and Michael, and I felt confident I was going to do that.
"It was going to be difficult playing against Michael Smith - in the Premier League he's beaten me 7-1 and 7-1, so when I went into the break 3-2 up I was glad I'd won three legs!
"Michael played his best darts against Gary [in the semis] and I played my best darts to beat Michael.
"We were still waiting for each other to 'go' in the final so we were both disappointed that it wasn't a great game for the crowd - but it was a great game for me!"
The Brisbane Darts Masters will be held from August 17-19 at the BCEC. For tickets, visit www.ticketek.com.au.
Brisbane Darts Masters
August 17-19, BCEC, Brisbane, Australia
PDC Representatives: Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock, Kyle Anderson, Michael Smith, Raymond van Barneveld
Oceanic Representatives: Corey Cadby, Tim Pusey, Raymond Smith, Mark Cleaver, Damon Heta, Gordon Mathers, Barry Gardner, Justin Thompson