Wayne Mardle believes Luke Humphries is on the right career path after winning the World Grand Prix with the Grand Slam and Worlds to come; next up on the Sky Sports Darts calendar will be the Grand Slam of Darts from November 11-19 at the Aldersley Leisure Village
Last Updated: 09/10/23 6:27am
Wayne Mardle believes Luke Humphries is capable of landing the world title at Alexandra Palace following his World Grand Prix success on Sunday.
Humphries claimed his first major title as he beat Gerwyn Price with a stunning performance to win the biggest title of his career.
The 28-year-old has been a star on the European Tour over the last 18 months, winning five titles, but has now transferred that to the PDC Tour.
He proved he belongs on the biggest stage after producing the performance of his life in Leicester, taking down the 2020 champion Price 5-2.
Victory moves him up to fourth in the world and earns him a £120,000 payday, with Sky Sports pundit Mardle claiming the Berkshire thrower has what it takes to become the best in the world.
“The career path is just kind of being a champion before you become a champion if you will,” said ‘Hawaii 501’ Mardle.
“Michael Smith was always considered ‘he’ll win a Worlds’ even though he hadn’t won a major and that was the general consensus with Luke, but now that he’s won a major is he going to go on an win a world title like Michael Smith did when he won the Grand Slam and the Worlds?
“We don’t know but what we do know is that for any of the frailties that people thought Luke had he hasn’t got them.
“He crossed the line emphatically against someone playing brilliantly. He didn’t beat somebody who was having a night off here. He beat someone playing well.”
There have been 13 different winners of PDC premier TV events in two years, while Humphries is the seventh new champion in 2022/23.
Michael van Gerwen
Price had to endure the usual hostility from the crowd, who were pro-Humphries in their support, and will now be hit in the pocket after swearing during his on-stage interview.
Mardle said of his misdemeanour: “Gezzy said he played the better darts but he didn’t. He was second best in a two-horse race. He said that for devilment. He does not believe that one bit. Luke was better which is why he won.”
“There was so much to enjoy about that game. I’m in the commentary box watching it and I was bewildered at their brilliance,” added Mardle. “Even just listening to Luke I’m thinking, ‘this is just great, this is fabulous’.
“I love sport being played well and that wasn’t just well, that was kind of perfect. The 138, two 57s and a 24 right in the corner.
“It’s really nice to see a new winner. It’s great for darts and he will be in the Premier League, you feel. It will be great seeing him week in, week out because he shows us all his talent and that’s what we want to see.”
Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts from November 11-19 at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton.