Brendan Dolan may be known as the ‘History Maker’ but is excited for his future in darts after deciding against quitting the sport for good.
The Northern Irishman – famous for being the first player to achieve a nine-darter in the World Grand Prix’s double-start format – was considering stepping away from the sport less than six months ago.
Despite a career-best run to the quarter-finals of last year’s William Hill World Championship, Dolan suffered a crisis of confidence after struggling to find consistency in his performances – but his mentality immediately changed when he picked up his first PDC ranking title for almost five years at a Players Championship in August.
“Winning that event made me believe in myself again,” said Dolan, who added another ProTour title in October – taking his career tally to six.
“The day before I had not played well and lost early again, and it felt like one failure too many.
“I phoned my wife and told her I was thinking about quitting but she talked me out of it and the next day I went and won.
“I came into last year’s World Championship trying to train myself to believe in myself, which was a kind of false sense of belief but this year I have concrete evidence that I can win and beat the top players so I have a genuine belief.
“I did have a great run last year, but it maybe papered over the cracks a little whereas this year I am firing and feeling confident.”
Dolan defeated India’s Nitin Kumar in straight sets on Sunday to set up a Monday night meeting with two-time World Champion Gary Anderson in the second round.
He added: “Gary is a brilliant player but I know I can do a job against him.
“I don’t know where his game is at the moment because he’s been out with injury a lot of the season, but I know where my game is - I’m going in with confidence and I believe I can beat him.”