Darts star Callan Rydz: “Chucking at the double”, 2023 success and World Championship hopes

Written by on 18th October 2023

North East darts star Callan Rydz has his sights set on the PDC World Darts Championship and the top 20 of the order of merit.

Rydz, 25, has enjoyed a meteoric rise since winning a PDC tour card in 2019. His true breakthrough year came in 2021, reaching the fifth round of the UK Open, and the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Darts Championship beating the likes of Alan Soutar and Nathan Aspinall before going to a deciding set against eventual champion Peter Wright, taking home £50,000 from the tournament.

He has found success on the PDC pro tour in 2023, winning Players Championship 19, and beating Dave Chisnall 8-7 in the final. He also reached the semi-finals of Players Championship 20. 

Rydz is currently ranked 29th in the PDC order of merit, solidifying himself as one of the best darts players in the world, but has his sights set higher.

The William Hill World Darts Tournament, quarter finals; Callan Rydz in action against Peter Wright. December 2022

Speaking exclusively to Spark Sunderland, the Bedlington thrower said: “It’s nice being in the top 32 but I think it’s time to push and try to get into the top 20.”

Most recently, Rydz appeared at the 2023 World Grand Prix losing in the first round to world number one Michael Smith.

Reflecting on the defeat to Smith, he said: “Not the best – it’s hard losing but when you go into a game feeling good, it just feels like you’re back to the start.”

The World Grand Prix is different to regular PDC tournaments, as players must hit a double on the outside of the board before progressing in the leg. 

Rydz is no stranger to this format however, talking about the double starts he said: “It’s just the same but you tend to practice a bit more chucking at a double first.

“I play in a local league on a Friday which is a double start, so I’m always playing (that format) one or two nights a week” 

Rydz’s success at the Players Championship 19 meant he pocketed the £12,000 prize. With a semi-final appearance in the Players Championship 20, he added a tasty £4,000 to his earnings.

Talking about the PC success, he said: “Yeah it’s always nice to win a floor event, sometimes you don’t have to play your best to win. 

“I had two averages in the mid-80s, you have to play well but you also need luck in those events.” 

Darts in the North East is on the rise – with Rydz and Chris Dobey both in the PDC top 32 and other players like Ryan Joyce close to breaking into the higher seedings. 

Rydz, who is a big advocate for North East darts, said: “I think it’s down to how much darts is played (in the North East) you can play in a league or even a midweek competition.

“Sometimes when me, Dobey and Joyce go to local events we don’t even win, we lose in the second or third round sometimes because the standard in the North East is brilliant.”

It is looking increasingly likely that Rydz will be ranked for the PDC World Championships at the end of the year, meaning he will enter in the second round and will pocket at least £15,000 from the tournament.

Rydz entered the tournament in the second round last year, losing in straight sets to Josh Rock.

Josh Rock (left) is congratulated on his victory by Callan Rydz (right) during day seven of the Cazoo World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Picture date: Wednesday December 21, 2022.

When asked if the ranking beside his name adds extra pressure to perform, he said: “No it doesn’t – you just play a game less because you’ve earned it. 

“I played in the second round last year, but sometimes it’s weird because you know you’ve got to play one game before Christmas. 

“I played Josh Rock last year who was probably in the top 10 for averages for the year!

“I know it’s a hard school because it’s the World Championships.”

Callan will be in action this winter, starring in the Players Championship Finals, at Butlins Minehead.

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