Jason Askew reaping motivation in the hope of following in father’s footsteps ahead of UK Open debut
Jason Askew believes that he’s reaping motivation ahead of his anticipated Ladbrokes UK Open debut this weekend at Butlin’s Minehead Resort in the hope of following in his father’s footsteps.
The surname of Askew has become renowned in the world of professional darts since the eighties with ‘Diamond Dave’ having reached two World Championship semi-finals and the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix.
However, it’s now Jason who enters the fray of the professional game on Friday afternoon as 160 players take to the Minehead holiday destination.
Global sensation Fallon Sherrock and three-time women’s world champion Lisa Ashton headline a field riddled with talent, whilst Askew will face Development Tour star Greg Ritchie of Scotland in his opener.
“I’m really excited about making my UK Open debut,” he said. “It’s such a prestigious tournament and one of the biggest on the PDC calendar. I’m going to enjoy it, give it my best like I always do and hopefully it works out for me.
“I had a great win at the weekend and that has definitely given me an extra boost in the run up to the UK Open. I’m feeling good and confidence is high, so I just want to get there and get going.
“I don’t know much about Greg but I won’t be taking that for granted at all. He must be a very good player qualifying through the Development Tour last year.
“I know I’ll have to be at my best from the very start. Just by being there and playing in the event will be giving me all the motivation I need to win, regardless of what board I’ll be playing on.”
Askew has been firing on all cylinders as of late and his name will be underlined as one of the handful of amateur players to vigilant towards – not only because of his family background on the dartboard.
The 26-year-old pinned a 101.91 average during last weekend’s British Inter-County Championship action whilst competing in Surrey colours, weeks after coming through a substantial field of 139 throwers to qualify for the UK Open.
Martin Lukeman was denied in the final by Askew, following the PDC Challenge Tour event semi-finalist’s comfortable victory in the last four against his fellow TCL Management stablemate, Scott Marsh.
“I was so relieved when the final double went in,” Askew said. “It was a long day and I had a lot of very good games along the way, so coming through a very tough field and getting over the line was just fantastic.”
A mere 15 years have passed since Jason’s father embarked on his deepest UK Open run, beating both Terry Jenkins and Darren Webster during a memorable weekend.
The younger Askew will be vying to replicate – if not better – his old man’s exploits, and believes that motivation is provided in great proportions courtesy of what his predecessor achieved.
“I used to watch my Dad when I was younger and think ‘I want to do that’, so now getting the opportunity to replicate that is a real honour,” he said.
“I’ve got a long way to go and I’m still learning the game, but I’m taking it in my stride and trying to be the best I can be.
“There’s a little bit of added pressure as he has been there and done it to a very high standard, but I think that helps me and keeps me motivated to follow in his footsteps – two World Championship semi-finals isn’t too bad I suppose!”
(Photography: Rileys Victoria)