Peter Wright thinks it is ‘a little bit too soon’ for Luke Humphries to win the World Darts Championship, although he reckons Cool Hand will lift the Sid Waddell Trophy in the future.
Humphries has long been one of the coming men on the oche and in recent months he has certainly arrived, winning the World Grand Prix, Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals since the start of October.
Such have been the performances of the 28-year-old that he heads to Alexandra Palace as the bookmakers’ favourite to win the title, ahead of the likes of Wright, defending champion Michael Smith and former winners Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price.
Snakebite has been very impressed with Humphries, as everyone has, but he does not think the three-time quarter-finalist is quite ready to go all the way.
‘He is favourite because he has won three out of the last four majors, and I won the other one,’ two-time champion Wright told PA.
‘I was the only other person to get close to him. It’s my fault, I created a monster because I had three darts at the Grand Prix to beat him and that was his first major. If I’d done that things would have been different.
‘He’s a great darts player but I think it is a little bit too soon. Yes, I think he will win the worlds but just not yet.’
Wright had a forgettable first half of the season, but won the European Championship for the second time in his career in October and is feeling good about hunting down a third world title.
‘I believe I can win it, I am not playing until December 20 so it gives me three weeks tinkering with my darts to make them 95 or 98 per cent perfect, that’ll do,’ he said.
‘There is potential to become a third-time world champion. That is in my sights and I am looking forward to it.
‘It puts a lot of pressure off my shoulders to know I have won it twice. I think I have got a lot of advantage over a lot of the field.
‘I am nowhere near my best at the moment, but I know what it takes to win. I decided to go and put the practice in and I went and won the European. I have put my focus on the Worlds, to be prepared for winning it one more time.’
The 2024 World Darts Championship gets underway on 15 December (2023) with Wright playing his first match on the evening of 20 December against either Jim Williams or Norman Madhoo.
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