Home is where the heart is for Aussie darts star
By Phil Dillon
TO SOME, Australian darts star Kyle Anderson is living the dream - earning money travelling the world, playing the sport he loves.
But for Anderson, neither money nor darts is everything.
Family is what matters most.
Dealing with lonely days on the Professional Darts Corporation tour, sometimes all he would rather do is pack his bags and head home to wife Tara and son Charles who live in Central Queensland.
Anderson, 31, was in Australia recently with his brother Beau - also a fellow professional darts player - in his home town of Perth.
The indigenous star was doing some corporate work with mining company Rio Tinto as part of NAIDOC week, talking about his sporting life and how he copes with being on the other side of the world from his family.
"It was all about my journey, what I have done and how I have got there," Anderson explained.
"I was talking about the problems I face and how I cope being a long way from home.
"What they think about us as darts players is that we have money and lots of it. They think we have got money coming from everywhere and we haven't really got it.
"But we are like mine site workers... they earn the money but at the same time they want to go home.
"The line of work we do, we just can't go home."
Anderson returns to Australia this week when the PDC World Series of Darts begins its Oceanic tour.
The top players in the world will stop off in Brisbane, Melbourne and Hamilton, New Zealand to take on the best from Australia and New Zealand.
Anderson said he would love to spend more time back home.
"It's good to come home and see family," he said.
"But when we get to Brisbane, it's only a three-day catch-up. It's not as if I am just coming home for a holiday - it's work. I have got to come back and play darts.
"All the guys on the tour in the UK say, 'oh, you get to go home for the World Series - you can enjoy that - that's time out for you'.
"But I don't actually get to go home (to Mount Morgan, near Rockhampton) because my house from where the Brisbane Masters is being held is about an eight-hour drive."
On the road in the UK and Europe as part the PDC tour, Anderson lives out of a suitcase for most of the year, staying in hotels for most of the time as well as being based in the East Midlands in England.
"It gets to the point where I just want to be home sometimes," he admitted.
"If you are not playing well, all you want to do is get home.
"We play darts, and when we are at tournaments our minds are occupied by playing the game.
"But as soon as you finish and you go back to your hotel room, it's just four walls and there's nothing you can do about it.
"If you win, you are happy when you go back to your room, but if you lose you could have lost the opportunity to have won $20,000 or even more depending on what stage you got knocked out.
"If that happens all you think about is what if, what if, what if and you just sit in your room and you just mull over it."
Anderson, who is 24th in the PDC rankings, has been in decent form this year and recently hit a perfect nine-dart leg in a win over Irishman Steve Lennon at a Players Championship event.
He also enjoyed a good run at the World Championships at Alexandra Palace at the end of last year, losing to eventual semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall in the last 32.
But even after that good performance his first thought was of his loved ones.
"I was 2-0 up in the first set and missed six darts at double 12 to win that set and after that he got his confidence and just went off," Anderson recalled.
"I could have gone further and maybe even fought for a spot in the final.
"I was playing well and I was happy about it.
"But after I lost I went back to my hotel room, got my bags and took off.
"There was a point when I thought, 'let me get on the next flight and go home'."
Anderson will spend the next three weeks taking on some of the best players in the world.
Anderson will be part of the Australian and New Zealand contingent who will take on some of the best in the world, such as world champion Michael van Gerwen, Brisbane Masters title holder Rob Cross who won the recent World Matchplay title in Blackpool, and two-time world champ Gary Anderson.
Anderson will draw on the experience of his first TV title, the 2017 Auckland Masters, when he also had to do it the hard way before defeating fellow Aussie Corey Cadby in the final 11-10.
"You have to do what you have to do to get in front and so be it," Anderson said.
"I always look forward to coming home to play.
"I am always confident. But it's just a matter of doing it on the day."
The Brisbane Masters is on Friday and Saturday at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The following week the tour moves to Melbourne before heading to Hamilton from August 23-24. Tickets are available from ticketek.com. au/DartsMasters.