Germany is one of the fastest growing darting countries and Michael Rosenauer is right up there at the top of the tree.
He proved his point at the 2008 World Championship and is now set to give the PDC circuit a real go, as he bids to make up for lost time.
Rosenauer’s name will forever be written in darting history books, after he became the first man to qualify for both the PDC and BDO World Championships in the same year!
Rosy won through the qualifiers for the Lakeside World Championship and qualified by right for the Ladbrokes.com PDC World Championship through the German Darts Corporation Order of Merit.
He then had to make a career-changing decision and chose the PDC path... and at his Alexandra Palace debut, he came mighty close to causing a major upset against two times BDO World Championship runner-up Mervyn King.
Rosy came from two sets down to take the match all the way to a nail-biting tie-break and was edged out by 5 legs to 3 in a thriller... but the German ace had proved to the darts world that he can be a real threat.
And having made his choice, Rosenauer will be giving the PDC circuit a crack over the next couple of years….obviously, he won’t be able to play all the tournaments but he is drawing up a sensible schedule, which will allow him to compete on a regular basis.
He is also the best soft tip darts star that Germany has ever produced - one of the best in the world on the electronic board.
He enjoyed a successful career playing under the German Darts Federation banner and was ranked No.1 in the GDF. He is now No.2 in the PDC affiliated German Darts Corporation - behind Mensur Suljovic, who like Rosenauer, qualified for the first ever World Championship at the Ally Pally.
The 41-year-old, who started playing darts completely by accident, is planning big things over the next few years and aims to make a big impression in the PDC, which is making great strides in Germany
In 2007, there was a Players Championship event in Frankfurt (won by Raymond Van Barneveld) and the German Darts Trophy (won by Wayne Mardle) was followed by the German Darts Championship in Halle, where Phil Taylor triumphed….but the tournaments drew big crowds and big TV audiences to prove that darts really is a growth sport. There are four big PDC events in Germany during 2008 including the prestigious German Darts Championship
And Rosenauer is a big favourite to return to the Ally Pally World Championship.
In 2007, he won the WDF ranked Malta Open and also the WDF Dortmund tournament for a second consecutive year.
‘Rosi’ is the only player to win every single German title in both soft tip and tungsten. “I have won the World Soft Tip Championships in Las Vegas three times and every European as well as German title between 1989 and 2000,” he said.
Incredibly, between 1989 and 1999, he won more than 1,000 soft tip titles! He has been German champion and played many times at the World Masters in Bridlington.
Rosenauer believes being part of Team Unicorn will make a huge difference. “I would love to win big titles and with the help of Unicorn, I think I can do just that!”
It all started for the German star back in 1988….he takes up the story. “My father opened a video library and after work I used to go in the pub next door and saw people playing darts. I thought I would have a go but wasn’t very good! So I bought a dart board and started practicing at work - sometimes for 10 hours a day... I went back to the pub and beat everyone and it all carried on from there.”
He has played for the German national team many times…and on the way to winning the German Masters in 1989, he averaged an amazing 108.75. Over the last few years, ‘Rosi’ stopped playing for long periods but now has that hunger back……in fact he was inspired to pick up the darts again by the all-Unicorn World Championship Final between Phil Taylor and Kevin Painter in 2004.
“I sat glued to the TV,” he said. “It was fantastic and I just picked up the darts again, started practicing and I have never looked back.”
He lives in Steinfurth, which is famous worldwide for growing roses and the sweet smell of success is surely in the air for Rosy over the next few years.