Luke Littler makes bold change ahead of UK Open as darts star to get 'more professional'

Luke Littler makes bold change ahead of UK Open as darts star to get 'more professional'

WATCH NOW: Luke Littler reacts to hitting nine-darter before the Premier League

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 01/03/2024

- 15:50

Updated: 05/03/2024

- 17:02

The youngster is set to return to the Oche this evening at the UK Open

Luke Littler may have only been a professional for a couple of months but the teenage sensation has already seen fit to make a major change.

The 17-year-old used different darts on night five of the Premier League on Thursday, a decision that has been backed by Wayne Mardle ahead of the UK Open this evening.

Littler rose to prominence at the World Championship at Alexandra Palace at the turn of the year, making it all the way to the final aged just 16.

He has since won the Bahrain Masters and a Players Championship tournament, hitting a nine-darter in both events.

Luke Littler

Luke Littler has changed the darts he is using ahead of the UK Open


Littler has had a consistent, if not spectacular, start in the Premier League, winning all but one of his quarter-finals but reaching just one weekly final.

He signed a multi-million-pound partnership with Target Darts last month and has used the company's darts in the early stages of his career.

But eagle-eyed fans spotted that he was using a slightly different dart for Thursday's action in the Premier League.

In a bold change, Littler was instead using Target's Loadout darts for his quarter-final against Michael Smith.

The likes of Peter Wright have been widely criticised for often changing darts during his career, so it was a risky move by Littler.

But it didn't seem to affect him initially as he overcame 2023 world champion Michael Smith 6-1 in a stunning display.

Littler failed to go any further on the night though, losing to Rob Cross 6-3 in the semi-final.

Mardle had no problem with the change of darts and says it has no impact on performance.

He said on Sky Sports: "He just wanted to change. There's no doubting the kid, there's no doubt in him.

"He wanted to change because he fancied changing. He didn't want to change because 'I need to, I'm not playing well'.

"It's never the darts when you play poorly, it's never the darts. Michael Smith's form when off when he changed darts.

"He said 'It's not the darts'. Peter Wright's been chopping and changing for decades, we know that.

"The bad games come and go but it's never the darts. Luke kind of showed that in that game [against Smith]."


Luke Littler

Luke Littler used new darts at night five of the Premier League in Exeter


Littler will be back in action on Friday night as he enters the UK Open in the fourth round.

Mardle is excited at where Littler's career will take him after a stunning rise to stardom and believes he will become 'more professional' as he gains further experience on the tour.

Mardle added: "Luke Littler has got this top level that I think he can sustain for a long time.

"Let's be honest, he nearly went 5-2 up in the final of the World Championship.

"For the width of a double, who knows, he might have been a world champion already and we're talking about he plays this game all the time.

Luke Littler

Luke Littler will enter the UK Open at the fourth round on Friday


"The thing is that he's not afraid, he's got growth in him as a human being as well.

"He's going to get, I think, better, he's going to get more professional, he's going to get more experienced. All this may be a huge positive or he may just have this slow rise.

"He may do a Van Gerwen and dominate for a decade, we don't know.

"But that's why it's so exciting, we don't know how his career is going to pan out."

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