Heydon back with the big boys after a lean return

Nigel Heydon
Nigel Heydon

Nigel Heydon has credited a return to his former throwing style for a upturn in form which culminated in him regaining his PDC tour card on Wednesday.

The Lillington thrower enjoyed a superb opening day at qualifying school in Wigan, overcoming fellow Warwickshire player Ian McFarlane in the first round before seeing off Philip Borthwick, Andy Pearce, Oliver Stell, Matthew Dennant and Stephen Carrett to reach the last eight.

He then defeated Scottish veteran Jim Walker 5-3 to join Alan Norris and Dutch youngsters Mike Zuydwijk and Jeffrey de Zwaan in winning a card for the professional circuit.

“I’ve got it back in the last couple of months,” said Heydon, who had been struggling with back problems.

“I take some painkillers in the morning and I’ve gone back to leaning - back to old school - and it seems to be working again.

“I had some tough games, but I finished well, with some 90-plus and 120 finishes.”

Heydon almost missed out on the qualifying school after losing a sponsor, with only backing from friends helping him take his place in Wigan.

And, despite again getting the chance to mix it with the likes of Phil Taylor and new world champion Gary Anderson, the 44-year-old undertaker says he cannot look too far ahead.

“Luckily, some mates stepped in to help out after I lost a backer.

“So it was nice to get the card and the opportunity (to play on the tour).

“But we’ll just look at the first month or two months and see from there.

“Hopefully, there will be a bit of interestfrom sponsors.”