Resurgent Rob

By JR Lott 28/04/2021

SPORTS fans love a good comeback story and darts has had its fair share: Eric Bristow's battle with dartitis, Andy Fordham returning to the Grandslam, and Michael Van Gerwen's incredible bounceback - from dropping out of the world's top 32 - to the pinnacle of our sport. One player currently threatening to pull off another Sinatra-like return is Robert Thornton.

The Thorn has had a tough few years and, despite straining every sinew, he fell from the top 64 in 2020. A disappointing Q-School then saw him without a Tour Card for the first time since his switch from the BDO in 2008. But you don't win major ranking titles, in both main codes, without rare talent and fight. Many have underestimated the former World Master and winner of the World Grand Prix & UK Open, most have been made to eat their words.

After recharging his batteries the 53-year-old reappeared at the Modus Live League and put in some superb performances. Fate then stepped in. The coronavirus has very few positives but it did present Thornton with the opportunity to play in the latest PDC Super series when more than twenty-five tour card holders withdrew. As anyone who knows the popular Scotsman would attest The Thorn was not about to let a good opportunity go to waste.

Over the course of the 4-day event, The Red Dragon thrower put together a run of results that many high-ranking players would happily swap with him. Rob reached the last 32 twice, then the last 16, and finally claimed a semi-final spot on the fourth and final day. Not only did Thornton defeat multiple major names, but it took the current darting elite to remove him. Only Nathan Aspinall, Dimitri Van Den Bergh, Scott Mitchell and Derk van Duijvenbode got the better of The Thorn.

It is not clear how many more Pro Tour opportunities will present themselves but with Challenge Tour, European Tour qualifiers, and much more to come in 2021, we could be seeing the start of another incredible resurgence from a player whom very few would begrudge an Indian summer of success.

Lead Image: L Lustig


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