Australian Raymond Smith says he is ready for the chasing pack as he gets set for his second match up at the 2023 Australian Darts Open in Moama.
The reigning champion who recently took out the Pacific Masters event last week at Rich River Golf Club, said that he feels the target on his back but is ready to stave off his rivals.
“Absolutely – I felt that at the Pacific Masters – they knew I was the man to beat so they came after me.
“Last year everyone was trying to find their feet coming into the Aussie Championships, now this year everybody has found their feet and everyone is ready to chase so this year is different.
“I am an Australian representative now and the reigning Champ, so everyone is coming.”
The Guru comfortably won his opening group match on Wednesday night against Aaron Morrison having lost the opening leg before winning the next five in succession to win 5-1.
And speaking after the win he said he wasn’t fazed about losing the opening leg – instead putting his energy into finding his rhythm for the rest of the match.
“It’s the benefit of experience – you don’t get too carried away with one leg, two legs, three legs – you just focus on what’s in front of you.
“And it was just fortunate that I hit tons when he hit 60’s and in the big moments I was there.”
And Smith had nothing but huge praise for the event in Moama, saying that not only is it the biggest event in Australia, but it provides a platform for Australia’s best to take on the best in the world.
“This is the biggest tournament on the Australian calendar – bar none,” he said.
“There is absolutely nothing else like it – we get international players coming out for it and there is the World Series and all that sort of jazz, but this is open to anyone and everyone.
“You can come through the qualifiers to get this opportunity, and then you get to play against world class opposition.
“This is THE tournament in Australia that you want to play in.”
Don’t forget you can watch every minute of action from each day of the 2023 Australian Darts Open via the Darts Australia event hub.
You can also stay up to date with schedules, results, news and more by heading to the hub via: https://dartsaustralia.com/2023-australian-darts-open/