NZ Darts Masters: Kyle Anderson eyes winning run in Hamilton

 Kyle Anderson.
Australian darts star Kyle Anderson. Photo credit: Photosport

Australian darts star Kyle 'The Original' Anderson holds New Zealand very close to his heart.

That's because, in 2017, he became the first Indigenous Australian to win a title with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), when he won his first televised championship at the Auckland Darts Masters.

Anderson was an underdog heading into that tournament, but defied the odds, beating Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock, James Wade en route to the final, before topping compatriot Corey Cadby 11-10 in the decider.

"It was my first appearance in Auckland and I went there to enjoy it," he told Newshub.

"After my first match against Gary, I felt like I could win this and the draw opened up, and I got to the end and won.

"That's my only televised event, so I hold that high. Every time you win a tournament, you always remember it.

"I had a couple of mates I went to school with in the crowd when I won, which was extra special."

Kyle Anderson with the Auckland Darts Masters trophy.
Kyle Anderson with the Auckland Darts Masters trophy. Photo credit: Photosport

The world number 23 will return to New Zealand later this year to compete at the newly named New Zealand Darts Masters, scheduled for Hamilton's Claudelands Arena on August 23/24.

Anderson competed in Auckland last year, but lost in the second round to Peter Wright.

World number one Michael van Gerwen went on to win the title last year, but since the Darts Masters has been staged in New Zealand, no player has defended the crowd, while no player has won it twice.

Anderson feels he can lift the New Zealand trophy again in 2019, because he doesn't feel the pressure of defending the title.

On top of that, he feels spending time with his partner and child in Australia, before heading across to New Zealand, will be a massive factor.

"I think last year put some weight on my shoulders for me being the defending champion of the Auckland Masters, to come back and defend it, and I did feel in the end.

"This year, I'm feeling fresh, we're heading to a new arena, so hopefully, I will make some noise and perform.

"Beforehand, I get to see my family first and that might be the break I need.

"I'm going to come home, see my family, enjoy the moment, off to Hamilton and hopefully, the sparks will fly from there."

As Anderson spends most of the year throwing his tungsten arrows in Europe, playing in New Zealand feels like home.

"We've got the same sense of humour, the same lifestyle, so it is like coming home.

"New Zealanders are respectful to all dart players, in general. If you can perform in front of a crowd that appreciates what you do, then everyone gets on board.

"It was a breath of fresh air, playing in front of the New Zealand crowd - they love you - unlike the English crowds, who boo you."

New Zealand's Cody Harris is also over in the UK, trying to make it on the professional circuit.

Anderson is doing everything he can to assist the 'Code Star' achieve his goals.

"I spend lots of time with Cody over here and I treat them like brothers.

"I'll tell him he has the tools to do it, but everything needs to fall into place for him to get on tour. Once he gets there, he'll be fine.

"It's a hard nut to crack to get there. He's doing the right things.

"If I didn't get my tour card, I wouldn’t have moved to England, but Cody has done that and he's going well."

Before coming to New Zealand, Anderson hopes to compete in two of the sport's most significant events.

"Hopefully, I'm at the World Cup of Darts - I haven't been confirmed yet - and I'm currently in the provisional spot for the World Matchplay.

"Fingers crossed, I keep my form and keep that, but I also have the European and Pro Tours, so it is a busy schedule before I come back to Australia and New Zealand."

Newshub.

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