Peter Wright has been backed to win his first major darts title at the upcoming PDC World Championship by Wayne Mardle, writes Alex Moss.
The former World Championship semi-finalist, who is now a pundit and commentator for Sky Sports, believes the Mendham-based thrower has the ability to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy on January 3.
Wright reached the final back in 2014, losing to Michael van Gerwen 7-4, and has since continued his rise in the sport, climbing up to a career-high of world number four.
“It goes back a couple of years with me and Peter,” Mardle explained. “In 2014 when he reached the final against Michael, he come off and rather than being pleased he’d reached the final, he said ‘give it a couple of years and I can win this.’
“I think now he actually believes that he can win it, which is a massive confidence boost for him. I think if Michael does get beat, it will be Peter who beats him and hopefully he’ll go on and lift the title.”
‘Snakebite’ has been handed a tricky first round draw against former world youth champion Keegan Brown.
Mardle insists Wright must not take the world number 34 lightly when they meet on the opening night of the tournament on December 17.
“Keegan is capable but Peter is still going to be the favourite,” Mardle said. “It’s a game which he needs to be switched on for and he can’t take it lightly.
“Peter knows he’s got the game The only thing stopping him is producing it on the day and I think now could be his time to achieve greatness.”