John Henderson loves every minute of life on the PDC circuit after an excellent first year. ‘Highlander’ won a tour card at last year’s Qualifying School and hasn’t looked back since.
The Scotsman qualified for five televised major tournaments in his first twelve months, including a run to the quarter finals of the World Grand Prix. Henderson is delighted with his progress.
He said: “My aim for the first year was to make it to the UK Open and the World Championships. To do that as well as making another three major tournaments has been brilliant. I think it has been an absolutely tremendous start for me.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s a longer format from what I used to play in the BDO and that really suits my game. Obviously, there are financial benefits that come with that but I love playing the game and it really is a dream come true for me. It’s been a fantastic first year and coming over to the PDC is the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Henderson believes that winning the tour card this time last year was both the hardest and most rewarding moment of his career. Another batch of hopefuls will be battling it out at the Barnsley Metrodome over the next four days.
Henderson said: “There were some very good players that didn’t even get a tour card at last year’s Qualifying School. It is one of the hardest tournaments I have ever had to play in. There is so much riding on that one weekend. If you don’t get your tour card you don’t know where your future lies in darts.
“It was an amazing experience but it was also very hard. I don’t envy those players that are taking part over the next few days. There are some big names but they are not going to find it easy. You need to be able to cope under a lot of pressure and be at the top of your game. It took a lot out of me last year but I enjoyed it when I got my card.”
‘Highlander’ has battled back from a bizarre injury when his arm was paralysed in his sleep and is now looking to build on a strong start to his PDC career.
He said: “It was the morning of the Grand Slam qualifier in Crawley. I woke up and I couldn’t move my arm at all. I was paralysed from the right shoulder right to the tips of my fingers. The doctor said that I had tweaked a nerve by sleeping on it for a long period. It took a while to heal but its fine now and I’m trying to get it out of my head and looking forward to another good year.
“If I could just match what I achieved last year, then that would be another very successful return but the aim is always to go one better. Hopefully I’ll make at least five majors again and maybe go a little bit further in each one. It would also be great to break into the top 32 and I think that it is within my grasp.”
By Chris Murphy