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Alan Soutar: 5 big targets for Angus darts star in 2022 as he breaks into world top 50

Alan Soutar has made a terrific start to 2022
Alan Soutar has made a terrific start to 2022

Angus darts star Alan Soutar promised to ‘unleash the chaos’ as he was named PDC’s Best Newcomer after a stunning debut year in 2021.

Soutar reached the last 16 of the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace to announce himself on the big stage at the end of last year.

He collected a cool ÂŁ35,000 cheque for his Ally Pally exploits.

He ended the year as the highest-placed newcomer in the Order of Merit with total earnings of ÂŁ67,000.

That saw the Arbroath-based star secure his tour card until at least 2023 and left him in 51st place in the rankings at the start of the year.

And Soutar, nicknamed Soots, has already built on that success in 2022.

The Dundee firefighter narrowly lost 6-5 to newly-crowned world champion Peter Wright at Players Championship 2.

He then reached the last 16 of Players Championship 3, losing out to Australian Damon Heta.

And has now qualified for two European Tour events – the German Darts Championship in Hildesheim and the German Grand Prix in Munich.

Those successes have moved Soots up to 49th in the world and bolstered his chances of reaching a wide range of high profile events.

But what are his targets in 2022 and how realistic are they?

Alan Soutar target 1: World Darts Championship

Soots made an early impact in his first year as he confirmed his place in at Ally Pally, just four months after turning pro.

He crashed through the unofficial ÂŁ13,000 earnings cut-off in record time to book his spot in front of the Sky TV cameras in the sport’s premier event.

And he became an overnight household name beating Diogo Portela, Mensur Suljovic and Jose de Sousa before losing to England’s Callan Rydz in the last 16.

Alan Soutar beat Jose de Sousa in the last 32 of Ally Pally

With enhanced prize money at Pro Tours this year, the financial cut-off will be greater.

Soots has to finish in the top 32 in the Pro Tour Order of Merit (OOM) to qualify.

But he is already sitting pretty, ranked ninth, with early season earnings of ÂŁ5,500.

Crucially, he’s also just five spots off being ranked as one of 32 seeds at Ally Pally.

Alan Soutar target 2: European Tour Events

There are 13 European Tour events in 2022. Soots has, so far, qualified for two in Germany.

He has guaranteed ÂŁ2,000 for qualifying.

But the financial rewards of starring in events across the likes of Belguim, Germany and Holland is considerable.

Alan Soutar is hoping 2022 could be a big year

The winners of each event bag ÂŁ25,000.

Success at these events can also lead to qualification for the ÂŁ500,000 European Championship in Dortmund in October.

Soots is currently ranked fifth out of 32 guaranteed qualifiers for Dortmund.

Target 3: World Matchplay

The ÂŁ800,000 on offer at the World Matchplay is the third biggest prize fund in darts.

The headline event takes place at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens in July with the top 16 in the Pro Tour OOM on July 12th qualifying.

Soots is currently ranked 17th, just ÂŁ500 adrift of 16th-placed two-times world champion Adrian Lewis.

Target 4: World Grand Prix

There is ÂŁ550,000 on offer at the World Grand Prix in Dublin this October.

To get there, Soutar has to be ranked in the top 16 of the OOM by September 26th.

That target is within reach as he currently occupies a qualifying spot in 16th place.

Target 5: World Cup of Darts

Gary Anderson has yet to confirm if he will star alongside Peter Wright as Scotland try to retain the World Cup.

Anderson snubbed the chance to star for Scotland last year as he resisted travel during the Covid pandemic.

Wright and John Henderson defeated Austria in the final to help Scotland become world champions.

Alan Soutar would love to partner Peter Wright for Scotland

But international pairings are based on rankings and Henderson is currently ranked 17 places below Soots in 66th.

Soots is in pole position to partner Wright should Anderson decide against playing for Scotland again this year.

Soutar, was capped 50 times for Scotland at BDO and WDF level.

And the fiercely patriotic star is ÂŁ11,000 ahead of nearest challenger Andy Boulton in the OOM.