Home Comforts For Dudbridge

BRISTOL'S Mark Dudbridge is looking for home success when the Blue Square UK Open visits town this weekend.

The Professional Darts Corporation will head to Bristol for the first time for the staging of the South-West Regional Final, the fifth of eight qualifiers for the UK Open finals.

Dudbridge was victorious in last year's event, staged in Swindon, when he defeated two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley in the final and hit ten 180s against Ronnie Baxter in the semi-final.

He will compete at the White Hart in Brislington on Saturday, when play will be spread across four venues before the last eight play off on Sunday at the Talbot Inn, Keynsham.

Click here for a full list of tournament odds with Blue Square

Click here for the Blue Square UK Open South-West Regional Final draw

"Last year was excellent," said Dudbridge, who reached the 2005 World Championship Final.

"I played well all weekend and the way I performed in the semi-final and final was probably some of the best darts I've ever produced.

"I may even play Dennis again on Saturday, but I'm looking forward to having some home support for once!

"It's not very often we get to play down in Bristol, so I hope it will be a successful weekend.

"My form hasn't been brilliant recently but I've been happy with how things have gone in practice and I want to take that into matches now."

Almost 200 players, including former World Champions John Part, Priestley and Steve Beaton, will be competing in the tournament.

Joining the White Hart and Talbot Inn in staging the early rounds on Saturday is the Fellowship in Horfield and the Crab Apple in Clevedon.

Local player Steve Brown is also looking to make a splash, just months after being taken under Dudbridge's wing on the PDC circuit.

"We spend a lot of time travelling on the circuit and he's good company, but also a very good player," added Dudbridge.

"He's made a lot of progress in the last six months and I know he's keen to get on TV soon and make a name for himself."

Leading players including Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, Colin Lloyd and new PDC recruit Mervyn King will miss the event due to the start of the Masters of Darts tournament in Holland.

Adrian Lewis, the world number five, has been installed as the 4/1 favourite, with fellow Stoke star Andy Hamilton rated at 7/1.

Dudbridge is a 14/1 bet with tournament sponsors Blue Square - click here for a full list of odds.