Luke Humphries is out to make a name for himself in Exeter this week (Picture: PA Wire)Luke Humphries becomes the latest Premier League ‘contender’ this week in Exeter and he cannot wait to get back on the big stage.
The 24-year-old announced himself to a global audience when he stormed into the quarter-finals of the 2019 PDC World Championship, knocking out defending champion Rob Cross along the way.
‘Cool Hand’ had been a largely unknown quantity before then, mainly playing on the Development Tour, but he is certainly a recognisable force on the oche now.
Humphries’ form has not been the best since his remarkable World Championship run, but he thinks a return to the stage will spark him back into life.
Humphries had a memorable World Championship campaign (Picture: PA Wire)‘I’m out to show everyone that my performances at the Worlds weren’t a flash in the pan,’ said Humphries ahead of his Premier League debut.
‘You never know how you’re going to adapt to the big stage and playing on TV but I adapted to it really well.
‘When I play on TV it makes me come alive, there’s just something about it that makes you focus more, I think that is the same for a lot of the younger players.
‘A good performance on Thursday would boost my confidence and I think it’s come at the right time for me because I’m not playing too well on the floor at the moment.’
Humphries is right in saying that his floor form has been poor this year, since his return to the Pro Tour.
‘Cool Hand’ has fallen at the first hurdle in three of the six Players Championship events so far, and at the second round in the other three.
Gerwyn Price is in sensational form (Picture: PDC/Michael Cooper)On Thursday, Humphries takes on the man who has shown completely contrasting floor form as Gerwyn Price is coming off back-to-back Players Championship victories at the weekend.
However, Price and Humphries have only met once before and it was ‘Cool Hand’ that came away with a convincing 6-1 victory at the German Darts Grand Prix last year, averaging over 100 in the process.
‘I know it will be a tough game against Gerwyn but I definitely think I can win,’ said Luke.
‘He is playing really well at the minute and I know he will play well on Thursday so I need to stick in there and try to match his heavy scoring.
‘My finishing is going really well so if I can stay with him then I think I will take the chances that come my way.
‘The pressure is all on him, he’s the one who needs the two points, whereas I can just go up there feeling relaxed.
‘I’m very hard to peg back once I get in front so he will need to get off to a strong start to feel comfortable playing against me.’
Luke Humphries is up against it in Exeter (Picture: EMPICS Sport)Whatever happens in Exeter, Humphries is back in action on Friday afternoon in Minehead when he takes on Vincent van der Voort in the third round of the UK Open.
Premier League Darts Week Four Fixtures
Luke Humphries v Gerwyn Price
Daryl Gurney v Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld
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