Damon Heta's shock darts win gives Aussies hope
DAMON Heta is hoping his shock win over defending champion Rob Cross at the Brisbane Darts Masters can inspire fellow Australians - saying one day that players from down under can rule the world game.
The West Australian celebrated his 32nd birthday in style on Saturday night at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, beating the World Matchplay champion 8-7 to become the first home player to take out a World Series of Darts title on home soil.
The only other Aussie to win a World Series event was Heta's best mate from Maddington in Perth, Kyle Anderson, who won the Auckland Masters in 2017.
Heta now heads to Melbourne next week for the second leg of the World Series tour down under before travelling to Hamilton for the New Zealand Masters the week after.
His win over Cross also secured him a spot at the World Series finals in Amsterdam in November.
Heta had a remarkable two days in Brisbane, defeating last year's World Series finals winner James Wade 6-5 on day one before securing an 8-6 win over two-time world champion Gary Anderson in the quarter-finals followed by a win over Australian No.1 Simon Whitlock by the same score line in the semi-final.
His success in Brisbane followed close on the heels of Heta's Australian Open win earlier this month and he says his success in the World Series can open doors for fellow Australian players.
"Hopefully that (winning in Brisbane) can give much belief to anybody," Heta, who will head to England in November for the Professional Darts Corporation Qualifying School, said.
"They will hopefully be saying 'if he can do it, what's stopping anyone else.
"Australian darts is getting bigger and better. There is going to be a wave of Australians over there (on the PDC tour) and we are going to take over.
"That's what I feel."
He said he was looking forward to continued success not only over the next few weeks but later in the year at the World Series finals, but added the weekend in Brisbane had taken its toll.
"I am aging pretty fast," he joked.
"That was my aim from the start to do well in these tournaments," Heta said.
"I have been there once and to myself I failed.
"I wanted to give it another go and my mind is set and that's it."
Heta was quoted at more than 500-1 with some bookmakers to win all three events of the World Series in Australia and New Zealand before the Brisbane Darts Masters but after his amazing win he said there was belief he could go on to more successes.
"They have definitely come in (the odds), one would only think," he said.
"If I see something like that, that just gives me more power to prove people wrong, so who knows what can happen next.
"I will just keep going for it."