Maybole darts player set for UK Open bow

Maybole darts player Jim McEwan is set to play in the biggest darts tournament of his career when he lines up in the UK Open on Friday.

The tournament is one of the biggest on the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) circuit and will be shown live on ITV 4.

Jim has been handed a tough preliminary round draw against Ireland’s Connie Finnan who has enjoyed victories over the likes of Dave Chisnall and Terry Jenkins before.

However Jim says nothing will faze him on stage.

“I’d fancy myself against anyone up there.

“Connie’s had a bit of TV time before so he’ll probably feel he’s got the edge that way but I won’t be nervous up there.

“I’ve got a real incentive to get through my first two matches as I would play former World Champion Christian Kist in round two.”

Jim beat close pal Steven McCluskey from Girvan 5-4 to qualify, something he admits wasn’t easy.

“That was one of the toughest matches I have ever played as it is hard to play a pal up there.

“You’ve just to get on with it as there are no pals when you are playing but it’s always at the back of your mind.

“I had the throw in the last leg and I think that helped me.”

Jim has played the sport for 30 years and admits he thought his big chance might never have come.

“When I started at 16, I dreamed of playing on the Lakeside stage and I was sure it would come but as the years went by I started to think maybe it wouldn’t

“I had a spell out of darts for about ten years to raise the family but now I’ve got the time to dedicate to it and this is an even bigger stage.

“If it goes well, I’m thinking about going to qualifying school next January.”

Jim beat Scotland’s new World Champion Gary Anderson in an exhibition last year and wouldn’t mind facing him again.

“Gary moaned about how slow I was last year when I played him so I don’t think he’d like to meet me again because of how fast he plays.”