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World Darts Championship Ends In Dramatic Fashion

ARUN RATH, HOST:

And now to England and the dramatic conclusion of the BDO World Darts Championship on Sunday. Pro dart player Scott Mitchell - his friends and fans call him Scotty Dog - was crowned champion. He's a farmer from the New Forest, about two hours west of London. Scotty Dog's passion for darts blossomed - where else? - at the local pub.

SCOTT MITCHELL: It's a little country pub. It's just, you know, in the middle of nowhere. It was fabulous.

RATH: Twenty-seven years ago, a friend's dart team was short a player. They asked Mitchell to step in.

MITCHELL: They said would you have a throw at the darts? I said, well, yeah, OK, but I'm not very good. So I picked the darts up. And I threw three darts, and they all hit the board in the scoring area. And he said, that's good enough. You're on my team tomorrow night.

RATH: Fast-forward past decades of honing his skills to the present day. Scotty Dog is a contender for the BDO World Darts Championship.

MITCHELL: You go from a little pub that's crammed on a Monday night to play darts and, you know, log fire roaring in the corner, to 1,500 people in an auditorium-type place, onstage with cameras thrust in your face. It was quite nerve-racking being watched by about three-and-a-half million on TV.

RATH: In his world, the championship is a huge deal.

MITCHELL: It's the place in world darts. It's where everybody wants to play, you know, like an American football player wants to play at the Super Bowl.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Sixteen.

RATH: In Sunday's final, Mitchell went head-to-head against famed three-time world champion, Martin Adams.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: Now we're into a deciding 13th set.

RATH: Mitchell is just a leg away from the title, and he starts off really well.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: What a start, what a start - magnificent.

(APPLAUSE)

MITCHELL: You're now thinking the dream could come true.

RATH: But his opponent, Martin Adams, is trailing right behind until...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: It's bull's-eye for a 121.

RATH: Adams misses the bull's-eye. Scotty Dog moves in. To win, all he needs is just one dart to hit the tiny double ring on the top edge of the target. He's got to be careful.

MITCHELL: Now, you could mess this up. With the nose, you could mess this up. So my first dart I threw off the top of the board to get like a marker, to get a feel of where I had to throw the second dart.

RATH: He then adjusts his aim slightly. He needs just one dart to win.

MITCHELL: So in my head, I'm then just thinking don't mess this up.

RATH: Like slow motion, Mitchell raises his black and pink dart and throws it.

MITCHELL: Soon as it left my hand, I knew it was in. It hadn't even hit the board, and I knew that it was in.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: The 22nd and the 2015 Lakeside World Darts Champion is Scott Mitchell.

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: Every dog has his day. And for Scotty Dog Mitchell, that day is today.

MITCHELL: I've watched the Lakeside Darts World Championship since I was a child - a small - 8 or 10 years old - and dreamt of being there to play. And I dreamt that I would win it one day. Just an old farmer's kid - I'm just a big kid from this little tiny village on the edge of the New Forest.

RATH: Scotty Dog Mitchell, 2015 BDO World Darts champion. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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