WES Newton admits he’s still learning as the Fleetwood darts ace prepares for Thursday’s second round clash with Justin Pipe at the Ladbroke’s World Darts Championship in London.
But Blackpool’s Ronnie Baxter is learning the hard way after falling at the first hurdle at Alexandra Palace.
Baxter lost 3-2 to Steve Farmer in Saturday’s first-round thriller.
Professional Darts Corpration world No.7 Newton had no such problems, beating Belgian Kurt van de Rijck in straight sets (3-1, 3-2, 3-2).
Newton wasn’t at his best but said: “I battled through and got the win, and that’s all that matters.
“Every player’s trying their hardest and it’s the biggest tournament for every player, and I’m no different.
“I still think there’s a lot to come from me and I’ve not played my best game on TV yet, but I’ll keep going and hopefully that will come out.
“You learn something from every game and as long as I keep learning it will make me a better player.”
Newton, who enjoyed an excellent run to the quarter-finals in last year’s competition, started the match well by breaking throw to win the first leg and clinched the set with a clinical 108 checkout
The Belgian, who qualified for this tournament through his performances in just six Players Championship events across Europe, hit a superb 136 checkout to force a deciding leg in the second set only for Newton to make throw advantage count.
Newton missed two doubles for the match in the fourth leg of set three but sealed victory in the fifth.
The 34-year-old, who reached the final of the UK Open back in June, will face Pipe at 9.50pm on Thursday for a place in the last 16.
Emerging star Pipe had to come from a set down against Australian Grand Prix champion Sean Reed before taking a 3-1 victory in a hard-fought contest.
Farmer recovered from two sets to one down to beat Baxter 3-0, 2-3, 2-3, 3-1, 3-1.
He said: “Ronnie’s a legend and such a solid player but when I got the first set I grew in belief.
“I had a little bit of luck and although I didn’t make it easy for myself, it’s fantastic to win.”