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Cameron Menzies went from repairing a kitchen sink to the second round of the World Darts Championship in a day, where reigning champion Michael Smith survived an opening night scare.
Menzies is a plumber by trade and had a day’s work on Friday replacing a waste basin, repairing a burst water pipe and repairing a kitchen sink before facing Austria’s Rusty-Jake Rodriguez at Alexandra Palace in the evening.
The dazzling Scot won 3-0 to book his place in the second round, where he will face Dave Chisnall on Saturday afternoon.
“I never thought this would happen. I was really panicking today,” he said. “I was working but it kind of calmed me down and made me realize that darts is a hobby and a very happy hobby too.
“I was changing the waste in a pool, I couldn’t get the base out because it was set in concrete. Then I did an emergency which was a burst water pipe and I fixed it, then I went to a tenant’s house to fix a bathroom and she wouldn’t let me in.
“Then I went to another job to fix a kitchen sink, so my job is maintenance. Basically it’s burst pipes and clogged drains, which isn’t pretty.
“I was so nervous, I knew this game meant a lot. What happens now is a bonus, but winning that game meant the world to me.
“Going to work relaxed me. I realized it’s not the be-all and end-all. I am a worker. I would love to be in a situation where I could quit my job and do this full time, but I still have a long way to go.”
Cameron Menzies stormed into the second round
Menzies will be able to be proud again in the house he shares with his girlfriend Fallon Sherrock, who is in action in the first round on Monday night.
The 34-year-old liked to avoid his girlfriend at the draw because he thought she would “beat him up”.
“You don’t understand how many problems we’ve had,” Menzies said. “She went to the draw, I sat at the computer and said ‘please.’ There are a handful of players you don’t want to draft, and Fallon is up there.
“I play Fallon in the house and I’ve beaten her eight out of 10 times, but she has a moment where she smashes me, which is fair.
“I know for a fact she would beat me up there on stage. It’s her stage, she would beat me up. I said, “Please not Fallon.”
“Everyone was texting me and asking if I was playing. Rusty is a very good player, but I would take him over Fallon in a heartbeat.”
Reigning champion Michael Smith survived a major scare
Smith began the defense of his 2023 title nervously as he was defeated to the end by world number 66 Kevin Doets.
“Bully Boy,” who defeated Michael van Gerwen earlier this year to claim the Ally Pally crown for the first time, faced the prospect of becoming the first defending champion since 2009, when it went to the final Hurdle overcome. Set decision, with the Dutchman having the throw.
But a brilliant 142 checkout in the first leg of the fifth set calmed everyone’s nerves and Smith went on to win 3-2, making for a merry Christmas as he won’t be back in action until December 27th.
2010 finalist Simon Whitlock won the deciding final against Paolo Nebrida, securing a 3-2 victory to set up a second round match against Gary Anderson.