BUCKSKIN’S Paul Hogan showed that he has got what it takes to mix it with darts’ top players by reaching the fourth round of the Coral UK Open last weekend.
Hogan’s reward for reaching the fourth round in Minehead was £3,000 in prize money and his form prompted darts legend Raymond van Barneveld to suggest he switch from the British Darts Organisation to the more lucrative Professional Darts Corporation circuit.
“It would be tempting, but money is the problem,” Hogan said. “You have to pay to enter events and I would need much more sponsorship to make the switch.”
The 50-year-old caused a massive upset by whitewashing three-time world champion John Part live on ITV4, while he went agonisingly close to defeating another former world champion the following day.
Having overcome Adam Cousins 5-2, Hogan was clinical in brushing aside Canadian Part 5-0 on the main stage at Butlins’ Minehead Resort.
That earned him a place in Friday evening’s third round, where he faced young Dutchman Benito van de Pas. Again, Hogan put in a good performance to win the match 9-3.
Hogan’s fourth round opponent was Welshman Mark Webster, the 2008 British Darts Organisation world champion.
It looked like the occasion had got to the Basingstoke man as he lost five of the first seven legs. However, he then won five consecutive legs to lead 7-5, only for Webster to recover by winning three legs in a row to take an 8-7 lead in the best of 17 leg match.
Hogan, nicknamed Crocodile Dundee, ensured that the match would go to a deciding leg – and he had three darts at double 19 for the match. However, he was unable to make them count and Webster took out his finish to win the match.
“I was gutted after the match, but that’s the way it goes,” Hogan said. “I would certainly have taken a place in the fourth round before the tournament started though, and to beat a three-time world champion in John Part 5-0 was amazing.”
Hogan’s next big event will see him play for England at the British Internationals in Halifax next month.