It was quite hard – Dave Chisnall on hunt for first major after death of mother

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Dave Chisnall says the death of his mother had an impact on his darts career, but he is now ready to move on and win a first major title.

The 42-year-old was left heartbroken in February 2021 after his mum died and it took away his focus from the oche as a result.

He came out of the other side by winning the Belgian Open on the European Tour last September and started the 2023 campaign with an excellent victory in the Baltic Sea Open.

“It was quite hard, it took me a long time to get over,” Chisnall told the PA news agency ahead of this weekend’s European Darts Open in Leverkusen.

“I am still not over all that but you have just got to move on and take it and carry on with your life.

“It was very difficult, not just for me, but for all my brothers. It was very difficult to get over.

“We had (son) Parker, he was born in October, she has given us something. I had two other brothers who had kids around the same time so she has passed us down something.

“I always wanted to win my first major for her, she was my biggest fan. When I won in Belgium that was for her, that was my first tournament win in two-and-a-half years, that was for her.

“She is looking down on me and will know I have won that one.”

Chisnall has been at the top end of the sport for the best part of a decade, but a major televised tournament has so far eluded him, with six final defeats.

His upturn in form will give him a chance of putting that right in 2023 but Chisnall believes one of the most prominent factors is luck.

‘Chizzy’ put his victory in Belgium down to the luck of the draw, but he was cursing his fortune in the recent UK Open, where not only did he draw Michael van Gerwen in the first round, he also had an unwanted visitor at the oche at a key moment.

“You just need that luck and to get a good draw,” he added. “All draws are hard, but at the UK Open, you don’t want to be playing Michael van Gerwen first.

“I got it back to 9-8 but it was too much. It’s luck, I know I can win these tournaments, but so can everyone else.”

Chisnall takes encouragement from how Chris Dobey and Andrew Gilding have won two of the televised majors so far this year against the odds and believes this is his time.

“It gives you hope,” he said. “I have always said, these players, they are no mugs, they can play darts. And if you are not at your A-game they are going to beat you. They will hit big averages and you just have to top them.

Chisnall won the Baltic Darts Open in February
Dave Chisnall won the Baltic Darts Open in February (PDC handout/PA)

“As soon as you start winning tournaments, they are like buses, that’s what they say.

“I just have got to get that first major under my belt and we can go from there. I am playing well, I think this year could be the one I win a major or two.”

:: Dave Chisnall was promoting Viaplay’s exclusively live coverage of the PDC European Darts Open beginning this Friday from 12pm.

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