In a gripping afternoon at the PDC World Championship, Steve Lennon from Carlow, Ireland, showcased his resilience as he mounted an impressive comeback, winning nine out of 11 legs to overcome a 2-0 deficit and secure victory against Owen Bates.
Lennon’s triumph sets the stage for a compelling encounter as he is set to face Jonny Clayton on Saturday afternoon. The Irish darts player, affectionately known as Scuba, spoke candidly about the significance of his recent win and opened up about his struggles with mental health in an interview with Darts Now.
“That win meant a lot to me; I have not been in a good place mentally coming into this. I didn’t know what to expect form-wise,” shared Lennon. He acknowledged the challenges of being on stage when not in the right headspace, emphasizing the importance of mental well-being in a high-pressure environment like professional darts.
Lennon’s approach to the game shifted when he found himself trailing by two sets. “I relaxed a bit; I kind of didn’t look at the overall score. I was just treating it as if it was nil all, and just forgetting the last two sets,” he explained. Lennon’s experience seemed to pay off as he turned the tide in his favor.
Reflecting on his mental state during the match, Lennon expressed uncertainty about the reasons for his initial struggle. However, he found inspiration after watching the first night of the tournament, which ignited a sense of excitement and motivation. “I was even thinking of pulling out the other night. Then I watched the first night, and it gave me a buzz, so… I’m glad I played in it,” he added.
Meanwhile, other Irish contenders made their mark at the PDC World Championship. Willie O’Connor, a Limerick native, secured a spot in round 2 by defeating Bhav Patel of India 3-0. Radek Szaganski, representing Cork and hailing from Poland, also had a successful debut, edging past Marko Kantele of Finland with a 3-2 victory.
As the evening approached, the spotlight shifted to Scotland’s Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, set to face Welshman Jim Williams in the final match of the night.