At the age of just 20, Arron Monk can call himself a ‘World Champion’!
It’s quite an achievement and it was quite a moment for the youngster, when on January 3 2011, he was crowned the first ever PDC Unicorn Under 21 World Champion.
Monk won the prestigious title on the biggest stage in world darts at the Alexandra Palace, before the main event – the Adrian Lewis/Gary Anderson Ladbrokes.com World Championship Final.
He beat highly rated Dutch star Michael van Gerwen by 6 legs to 4 to win the event, plus the £10,000 winner’s cheque.
“Without doubt, the highlight of my career so far,” Monk admitted.
“It was a fantastic experience to play on that stage in front of 2,000 darts fans and I cherished every moment,” he added. “But now I really have to kick on from this.”
His aims include an appearance at the 2012 World Championship, a place at the World Matchplay and a spot in the world’s top 50.
They are all within his range, because he has the natural talent to make a big splash in the darts world over the next couple of decades.
Monk won through to the Alexandra Palace final by winning four matches at the Under 21 World Championship event in Barnsley and he handled the big stage much better than his Dutch opponent.
He was 3-0 and 4-1 in front against Van Gerwen, before the Dutchman levelled the final…..Monk’s finishing though, won him the day….he nailed a 121 on the bull to edge back in front and his end check-out success rate was 67 per cent….very impressive!
But now, it is all about the future and many believe that Monk will win big titles in the PDC.
On the Pro Tour, he has reached the last 16 several times, beating the Likes of Co Stompe, John Part, Vincent van der Voort, Colin Osborne, Ronnie Baxter, Terry Jenkins and many others!
But it is consistency that Monk strives for and concentration. It has been very frustrating for the young man that he has lost a raft of matches in a deciding leg and he now needs to turn those games into wins!
Of course, he comes from good darting stock….
Dad Colin has a top pedigree….at the Lakeside World Championship, he reached the semi-finals twice and the quarter-finals on four occasions, so it’s no surprise that the darting bug has been passed down through the Monk genes.
The deal with Unicorn has proved to be a massive boost in the young man’s career, as was winning the prestigious New Kids on the Oche tournament at the end of 2008.
It was a Darts Reality TV show but it was where Monk proved that he was the real deal!
The event was promoted by the Professional Darts Corporation and the great Phil Taylor was there to mentor the players when it was staged at Crondon Park Golf Club in Essex – the same venue which hosts Championship League Darts.
Eight of the brightest young talents in UK darts were invited to take part and Monk came out on top! The event was shown on NUTS TV.
After topping his group, he breezed through the semi-finals – beating Michael Smith, before getting the better of Unicorn stablemate Joe Cullen in the final.
And he has already played Dad Colin once in competition. “It was a tour event in Scotland and Dad won by 3 sets to 1 but he was lucky and I will get my revenge next time we meet!” he said.
And Dad doesn’t disagree! “He is certainly better at his age than I was at the same time,” Colin said. “He can go on to achieve whatever he wants to in darts.”
The pair still practice religiously for two hours every Wednesday night! Results are kept a closely guarded secret!
As you would expect, it started young for Arron when, back in the day, his Dad would take him to tournaments all over Europe.
Arron used to throw darts with the likes of Adams, Hankey, Fordham and King and the youngster also used to attract a lot of attention from the BBC TV cameras when his Dad was doing well at the Lakeside……much to his embarrassment these days!
Aged 11, he was playing youth county darts for Hampshire and he then became a graduate of the Unicorn sponsored Andover Darts Academy.
And he has come such a long way in such a short space of time…..from the Andover Academy to World Under 21 Champion speaks volumes for the darting talent that is Arron Monk.
His big passion away from the oche is poker and he is now an accomplished player.
But there is no doubt that Monk will become a big fish in the world of PDC darts over the next few years….we will watch his progress with interest, because experts believe that he can go all the way to the top in the world of darts.