WHITWELL-ON-THE-HILL’S Terry Temple is aiming to win back his PDC tour card for the 2013 season.
Temple, who at 51 is still a year younger than darts legend and world number one Phil Taylor, will travel to Wigan next month to compete in the Q School that decides who will join the world’s top 64 players on the circuit next year.
Finishing the PDC campaign ranked 72 on the Order of Merit meant Temple missed out by eight places on retaining his Pro Tour card for a third year.
Had he won his decisive World Championship qualifier match with Stuart Kellett last week, he would have also secured a card for 2013, as well as a place in the field for this month’s Alexandra Palace extravaganza.
Having been only one match away from qualifying for darts’ premier tournament, won for the last two years by Adrian Lewis whom he has beaten twice this year, Temple believes he still has the time and ability to realise his dream of playing in the World Championship.
“I should have done better throughout the year and will have to go back to Q School,” Temple said of his 2012 campaign. “I’ll be giving it another go and I will be disappointed if I don’t break into that top 64 next year, even though being on the tour doesn’t get any easier financially.”
At the Barnsley World Championship qualifier, Temple claimed former Premier League runner-up Roland Scholten as one of his victims on the way to meeting Kellett.
The Northwich-based web designer went on to beat Temple 5-1 and the latter conceded that the better player won on the day, saying: “Considering I wasn’t in the best of form, I did well really and I think my experience got me through to the last four.
“I had a decent chance in the first leg against my darts when I wanted 82 and hit the bull but I missed the double and he went in front. I won the next leg to go level but, although one or two of the following legs were nip and tuck, I’m not a bad loser and he deserved to win because he kicked on from there.
“Even at 4-1 down, I felt I was still going to win because it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve come back from that type of position. I was 4-2 down against Aidy Lewis two days earlier but threw a 103 to win that match. If I’d won the next leg against Stuart at 4-1, then he would have been under pressure but he closed the game out.”
Unlike last season, there was no play-off meeting between the two beaten semi-finalists at Barnsley to determine who would be first reserve for the Championship in the event of somebody withdrawing from the field.
Acomb’s Chris Thompson filled that position in 2011 but, this time around, the highest-placed non-qualifier on the Order of Merit, Mark Hylton, ranked 34th in the world, will profit from anybody pulling out.
Temple accepts that situation, pointing out that he was more than capable of winning a World Championship place by being successful in South Yorkshire.
He added: “At the start of the day, I thought I was going to win it because you don’t come across the likes of Aidy Lewis, Simon Whitlock or Wes Newton when you are playing in the World Championship qualifier.
“I’d beaten most of the players before but, over the weekend, I had good times and mediocre times. Stuart played well though and he’s a very good player.”
Temple will now take on hundreds of other hopefuls aiming to win a PDC tour card at four competitions in Wigan from January 17 to 20.
The semi-finalists of each tournament will earn one of the 16 automatic tour places up for grabs with others awarded according to players’ performances over the full four days on an order of merit basis.
Having admitted that playing on the tour for a third year full-time would present a financial strain with the annual costs estimated at around £14,000 to attend every event, Temple would welcome any would-be sponsors.
Anybody who would like to offer any level of support should phone Temple on 07530 362050.