Hadleigh darts player Curtis Hammond preparing for PDC Q-School

Hadleigh darts player Curtis Hammond

Hadleigh darts player Curtis Hammond

Matches against Phil “The Power” Taylor and Mendham’s Peter “Snakebite” Wright could soon become regular fixtures for Suffolk rising star Curtis Hammond.

The 23-year-old, who works for Suffolk County Council, heads to the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) Q-School in Wigan next week, knowing he is agonisingly close to securing a place on the professional tour.

Four tournaments lay in wait for Hammond and the other hopefuls, including former PDC players, and one semi-final appearance will be enough to secure a place.

If that isn’t achieved, Hammond, from Hadleigh, could still realise his dream and become one of 32 new players joining the tour, provided he accrues enough points during his four days in the north west.

“There will be a lot of aspiring darts players like myself trying to get on the tour,” said Hammond.

“There will also be a lot of ex-professionals that have slipped down the rankings, that will be trying to get back on, so the standard will be high.

“I have been putting in a lot of practice. I had an indifferent season last year, playing on the PDC Challenge for 16-25-year-olds, trying a few different things with my darts, but I am looking forward to this.”

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Former Hadleigh High School pupil Hammond has landed free entry into the event, which usually costs £200 to enter, having reached the final of the Redtooth National Darts tournament in Sheffield – the company paying for his admission.

That was a big boost for the youngster who only first picked up a set of flights five years ago and who, along the way, has faced PDC World Championship runner-up Wright on the Suffolk circuit.

“I have played Peter before and the rapid rise he has had has been phenomenal,” said Hammond, who qualified for the Redtooth event by making it through a regional competition at The George Pub in Hadleigh.

“It is only a couple of years ago that I was playing against him at a Grand Prix in Ipswich and it just goes to show you what hard work and dedication can earn you.

“If I don’t get there this time then there will always be next year but my aim is to get on the tour with the world’s best players.

“That would give me the chance to start trying to qualify for the bigger tournaments and start earning money points, which could lead to playing in the TV tournaments.

“I’m looking forward to Q-School and really focused on making it through.”

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