I love the UK Open, known as the FA Cup of Darts, where (relative) minnows can find themselves playing the greatest professionals.
Gary Mawson and Wayne Mardle are both competing - Gary was losing finalist in 2008; best of luck to him.
Wayne Mardle hasn't performed at the top of his game for quite some time, but he's quite a character so it would be great to see him make something of a comeback; perhaps a little less focus on the famous walk-on would help his focus on the game, but then again maybe not if it helps him get psyched up... Anyone have any thoughts on Mardle?
Barneveld seemed to be finding form towards the end of the Premier League, so it's a great shame he hasn't qualified for the UK Open (having not completed the requisite 3 qualifiers). When he was interviewed during the Premier League he mentoned being blackmailed - very nasty business; there's an article on it here
As for some of the other Dutchmen, it would be great to see Jelle Klaasen do well again, having become the youngest ever world champion (BDO) in 2006 but not really set the darting world on fire since. I like watching Vincent van der Voort, with that trade-mark rapid fire throwing action, and Co Stompe's fun too - trying to figure out his throwing action is just mind-bending.
Anyone have any other suggestions for players to look out for during the UK Open - this blog is always open to suggestions...
Anyway, long-story-short, I'm looking forward to having some darts to watch again (local pub excepted) - being a poor (financially) student, the number of non-televised events I can get to is sadly limited.