Since Kingston Darts dot Com began the Player Spotlight we’ve proudly featured some of the areas most dedicated and enthusiastic players (Paul Sauvé), we’ve featured some of the people who’ve helped build our local dart community (Marjorie Allardyce and Marilyn Loft), and like our most recent Spotlight (Samantha Loft and Duncan Sagriff) we’ve featured some of our area’s best players. While our emphasis is and will always be on local players we have, occasionally, featured some of the brightest stars from our Province and Nation (Cindy Pardy-Hayhurst and Ross Snook)!
This month, after taking a short summer break, we’re proud to feature an Ontarian who is not only known for being one of the best in the country, but also one of the best in the world. In fact, this individual won the BDO World Championship before moving to the PDC and winning two more World Championships! He is, without question, the greatest Canadian and North American Dart Player! He is John Part!
That’s right, Kingston Darts dot Com is proud to feature John Part in the August 2013 Player Spotlight! John was kind enough to answer our questions while overseas at the World Matchplay Championships. Below you’ll find the interview as well as John’s profile.
We hope you enjoy reading this feature as much as we did preparing it! Thank you to John Part for taking time out of his extremely busy schedule to complete our little interview and to you, our readers, for taking the time to visit Kingston Darts dot Com!
|Name: John Part
Nick Name: Darth Maple
Barrels: 23g Death Sabers Signature Darts by Cosmo
Flights: Fit Flight Darth Maple Signature
Kingston Darts . Com: John, first of all, thank you so much for doing this! I know the readers of Kingston Darts dot Com are thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about you as so many of us are inspired by the success you’ve had and continue to have. Why don’t we start at the beginning, most Internet profiles have you playing darts since 1987. Is that really when you picked up your first dart?
John: People always want specific answers. 1987 is the best representation of my starting to play frequently and practicing. I had a few experiences playing before this, but on the other hand never played in a pub, or in a league or tournament until 1989.
Kingston Darts . Com: What was it that made you start throwing in the first place?
John: I enjoyed the whole challenge of actually throwing and hitting targets. The games on the board didn’t matter so much.
Kingston Darts . Com: Being a big fan I’ve read and watched some of your interviews. I remember one in particular where you said you didn’t know how Phil Taylor kept his interest in the sport and that was the most difficult part for you; the easy part was throwing. Has that changed for you?
John: I will have to say that I’m not sure if “interest” was my word choice or yours. I always have had great interest in darts. Perhaps I was referring to the drive to win, the inner engine that needs such a high level of intensity to achieve success. Years of play, and years [on] the road, they both erode ones core of willpower. My point was probably how unusually strong Phil is in that regard.
Kingston Darts . Com: Over the years you’ve achieved a great deal of success, your list of accomplishments seems endless, which of those successes is the one about which your most proud and why?
John: Beating Phil, ending his 8 year unbeaten streak in the PDC World Championship, in the final in 2003. There are two sides to every story, and fortunately I am one side of that story. Many feel that match helped to start a new era of growth and prosperity for the PDC as it heralded the future depth of competition in the PDC.. Until that point many referred to the PDC as Phil’s Dart Club, and my win helped to change all that, despite Phil’s obvious greatness in the game.
Kingston Darts . Com: Young Canadian dart players are able to look up to you, to see your achievements, and to want to become the next John Part. Before you, there were a few Canadians who had experienced some success on the World circuit including World Masters runner ups Allan Hogg (1979) and Bob Sinnaeve (1986). From where did you draw your inspiration? Was it a Canadian or another pro, or someone else altogether?
John: I saw darts on TV a few times. I saw Bob Sinnaeve playing, and was thinking OK here is something a Canadian could do, and at high levels. I also saw Bob Anderson, and quite liked his whole style and intensity. Really, I enjoyed watching all of the greats of the day. At the time, Eric Bristow was the best of the best by far, and his cockiness certainly livened things up.
Kingston Darts . Com: Jeff Smith and Kenny MacNeil are up and comers and both have played with you in the PDC World Cup of Darts. How do you feel about the state of darts in Canada and North America as a whole?
John: I think because of the Internet our best darts players have the opportunity to keep tabs on what the best performance levels are, and they can raise their expectations of themselves accordingly. The distance issues really make it near impossible to play the PDC tour. I applaud Jeff and especially Ken for their efforts to play in England. At this point, only large sacrifices will get players where they want to be. Hopefully the NAPT will help equip our players better for the opportunities that they do get.
Kingston Darts . Com: A fun question I always ask in the Player Spotlights is what’s your favourite finish? In your case I see that you break down numbers masterfully and make use of any triple on the board to set yourself up. i.e I know that for 108 you shoot 19s to leave 32 where as a lot of people opt for 18s. What is your favourite 3 digit finish and how do you normally break it down?
John: That 108 is my long time favourite finish. The d16 is the same height as the t19 so it makes for an easy combination. The 132 and 125 finishes are lots of fun because you get to use the bull so much, and they look spectacular when you get them on TV.
Kingston Darts . Com: You’ve had the chance to play the best players in the world for a long time now. In a pre-match interview prior to playing James Wade you said you both enjoyed getting in each other’s way. Who would you say is the toughest opponent you play and who would you say is the player you most enjoy playing?
John: The toughest opponent is still Phil, and he is still who I enjoy playing the most.
Kingston Darts . Com: We’re always trying to improve our darts and most of us do so by using different practice routines. What are some of your favourites?
John: I like lots of finishing. I’ve gone back to doing every outshot from 2-101 in three darts or less as a daily routine. I’m feeling more myself already.
Kingston Darts . Com: You’ve long been considered one of the sport’s best “counters” and that’s translated to some opportunities to provide match commentary for broadcasters like ESPN. Is this Television Commentary a field you’d like to pursue?
John: I’m doing some for Sky Sports now and I do enjoy it. I just enjoy playing much more.
Kingston Darts . Com: Have you got any goals set for 2013/2014?
John: Win whatever I can wherever I can.
Kingston Darts . Com: Finally John, if you could share one bit of advice with our readers what would it be?
John: Daily practice makes all the difference. It doesn’t have to be hours or anything like that. Just a simple drill or routine done once a day will improve your game very quickly.
Kingston Darts . Com: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
John: Always try to have a positive attitude towards your opponents. Without them, you are nothing.
Again, we are extremely thankful to John Part for having participated and to you for taking the time to enjoy John’s interview!