Graham Usher aiming to bounce back after Q-school with fresh challenge

Scarborough darts ace Graham Usher has shared his thoughts on a tough visit to Q-school which saw him miss out on a tour card, and insists that preparation has already begun for the challenge tour.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 10:00 am
Graham Usher is aiming to bounce back from his Q-school disappointment.

“The first few days didn’t really go to plan and I put too much pressure on myself,” said Usher.

“As soon as I started to relax and play my game, things got a lot better and I was performing well. You come up against some really good players and I know that I can compete with some of the best, I just need to turn up.”

Usher made it through the first stage, as an order of merit qualifier, but struggled to sustain any kind of form in the final stages and missed out on a PDC tour card.

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“Sometimes it’s the luck of the draw and on the final day it was all or nothing and I came up against an in-form Scott Mitchell. When the pressure was off on the final day, I played really well but the standard’s getting much better, there are so many young players coming through.

“The atmosphere was very different and once we’d had our breakfast, if you lost you’d be back in your rooms very quickly. I had a shoulder operation before the competition, but it was on my opposite side but I’m glad that it didn’t put me off at all.”

Before competing in the qualifiers, Usher admits that he had some unreal support from professional dart player Daryl Fitton and current PDC Premier League Champion Glen Durrant alongside messages from friends and family.

He added: “The support has been brilliant and I’ve had so many nice messages.

“Daryl and Glen got in touch which was a huge boost and it gave me a lot of confidence going into the games.”

For Usher, now isn’t the time to sit on the negatives and he is looking forward to a successful year on the challenge tour.

“I’m wanting to finish top of the tour, which would secure my card for the next two years without going to Q-school.

“There are lots of big names on the tour such as Wes Newton and Kevin Painter so it’ll be tough but I’m looking forward to it.

“Joe (Usher) has been giving me a few games online to increase my match practice and he’s trying to get some games lined up for me.”