• PDC World Championship

Part: I'd rather wear a blindfold than play in contacts

ESPN staff
December 20, 2013
The PDC World Championship is only the second tournament John Part has played in wearing glasses © PA Photos

Three-time world champion John Part admitted playing in glasses is something he will just have to get used to - although he would "rather play in a blindfold" than try contact lenses.

Part overcame Mareno Michels on December 13 to advance at Alexandra Palace, only his second televised tournament wearing glasses. The Canadian showcased the new frames for a first time at the Players Championship Finals in November, where he suffered an opening round defeat to Premier League star Andy Hamilton.

It is nothing new when players tinker with their set-up in an attempt to gain something extra. Phil Taylor, the 16-time world champion, trialled glasses at the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton, but ditched them after only his second match at the tournament following a shock loss to Ted Hankey.

Paul Nicholson and Kevin McDine both underwent laser eye surgery to improve their vision on the oche, but Part confirmed his condition was "too mild" for opticians to consider the procedure.

And while his second round opponent Wes Newton opts to play wearing contact lenses, Part ruled out any chance of joining the Fleetwood ace, stating he would rather play with his vision completely impaired.

"I hate even the thought of that [contact lenses]. I can't even begin to touch my eyeball. I'd rather play with a blindfold.

"If my future is going to be good in darts, I better just learn to deal with it. I know guys like Phil [Taylor] and Gary Anderson have tried them and binned them, but I think I'm going to give them a little longer to try. I can't guarantee I'll keep them, though.

"I struggled not so much here [Alexandra Palace], but at the last one [tournament, the Players Championship] the bottom of the board looked very close up and big to me. It was too close. I was seeing everything really big at the bottom of the board and it didn't really help me to see it big. [It was] like I had a magnifying glass there and I'm trying to figure out how hard I should throw them. But I didn't want to give up on it.

"I just think it's best to get used to it and actually see it where it is. I'm sort of a touch player a lot of the time, so when I get to a double I get the feel, a lot of hand-eye coordination. When I'm playing well, that's where I go. I guess if you're giving the wrong information from your eye to your hand, that doesn't help too much.

"Maybe I should have got bigger lenses. I just want to get them so they're up and I'm looking through them rather than over them. Because if they slide down and you're looking over them, that's not good."

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