Magnus Caris will make an end to his career after the World Cup of Darts. He will not throw another dart after the tournament in Hamburg.
Earlier this year Magnus Caris announced, that he would retire from being a dart player. The 50 year old Swede decided to participate at one last World Cup of Darts before laying down the darts.
We took had a talk with him and took a tour down memory lane.
His brother was the biggest talent
Magnus Caris started playing darts at the age of 10. His parents had a dartboard in the basement, and therefore Magnus Caris and his two brothers started practicing. A lot.
“My older brother was the guy with the talent, but I was the one who practiced the most. I practiced like four hous a day. Straight home from school and down in the basement and practice.”
But what motivates a 10-year old to practice that much? For Magnus Caris it was quite simple. He experienced that he became better with practice, and when he got better, it became more fun to play.
At the age of 16 Magnus Caris got picked for the Swedish national team, and after that he knew he could do something with his career in the darts.
In december 1987, at the age of 19, Magnus Caris participated at his first BDO World Masters. Before this he had competed in tournaments like Swedish Open, Finnish Open and so on.
“It was great fun. I had a lot of nerves of course. But I travelled with some guys who had played there before, so they could tell me how to do it in a proper way.”
The tournament saw Magnus Caris losing in the round of 32. Already two years later he was back at the World Masters, where he got a even better result, reaching the quarter-final.
Then in 1990 he qualified for his first World Championship in the BDO. As in the World Masters in 1989, he reached the quarter-final before losing agains Eric Bristow. This was the first time ever, that the Swede met legend.
“He was one of the best at that time, with Bob Anderson. And of course, it was an honor to play against him. I had a lot of respect for him and maybe that was why I lost.”
Best period in the career
In 1992 Magnus Caris once again found himself competing in the World Masters, in which he had a great run beating Eric Bristow, John Lowe and Martin Adams, before losing in the semi-final.
“After beating Eric and John I thought this could be the tournament, that I would end up winning. But the players are so good, so it doesn’t matter who you’re opponent are, you have to perform your very best.”
“But I will say, that this tournament was the highlight of my career because of the victories against Bristow, Lowe and Adams.”
Two years later in 1994 Magnus Caris once again found himself in a big semi-final. This time it was at the World Championship and it was against Bobby George. Despite being up by 4-2 in sets, and even with a match dart at double 18, Magnus Caris lost the match by 5-4.
“I missed double 18 for a 141 checkout, and missed double 18 for the match, and then he flipped the game over and won. I can’t tell why, but maybe I stopped thinking. Maybe a bit nervous or something. I don’t know. It is hard to tell.”
“After beating Martin Adams in the quarter-final, I thought that I could have won it. Because I played against John Part, who won the World Championship that year, in the Swedish Open like two months after and I beat him easily by 3-0. And you never know what happens in the final at the Embassy.”
“If I could change on of my loses in my career into a victory, the match against Bobby George would be the one.”
The family came first
After competing at the World Championship once again in 1995, Magnus Caris choose to pull the plug on his darting career, as he bacame a dad in December 1994.
“I decided to be a dad, and then I would start playing again five or six years later.”
And so he did. In 1999 he once again tried to qualify for the World Championship, but without any success. He did though qualify for the World Masters, even though the tournament did not bring any success either.
In 2001 he participated at the WDF World Cup, and then there was another gap until 2007, in which he did not play much dart.
“It was not because of another child, but I just choose to stop travelling that much and took care of the family instead.”
A change in his personal life though did get him back on the big dart scene once again.
“I met a new girl in my life, and she said: “Magnus, you are to good for Sweden, you need to go out and travel and play against the best players in the world.” So she said that she would sponsor me for the first year, and then I would be up and running by myself.”
And then Magnus Caris began playing darts at the highest level again, resulting in participation at the World Masters in both 2008 and 2009, with 2009 as the most successfull tournament of the two.
The switch to the PDC
In 2009 Magnus Caris made the switch from the BDO to the PDC.
“I decided to change because all the good players play for the PDC and the prize-money were bigger. And you always want to play against the best players and if you can win some money, it’s a bonus.”
The first tournament Magnus Caris participated in was the PDC World Championship 2010. He met Francisco Riuz in the preliminary round and won 4-0. Afterwards he met Colin Lloyd in the first round and lost by 3-1. But it was still a good experience for the Swede.
“I don’t know how to explain, but there is such a big difference. It is so professional in the PDC, and you have this large stage compared to the one at the Embassy. And the crowd was also much bigger than at the Embassy.”
Almost a year later Magnus Caris participated at the first ever World Cup of Darts, which unlike now, was being held in December.
“It was an honor to be picked for the Swedish team.”
Afterwards he went to Ally Pally once again. But just as the first time, he lost in the first round. But this did not demotivate him and therefore he went for Q-school in the start of 2011.
UK Open and Grand Slam
Already at the second day of the Q-school, Magnus Caris managed to secure himself a Tour Card for the next two years.
He then qualified for the UK Open for the first time, and even though he lost already in the round of 96, it was a good experience for Magnus Caris.
“It’s a great venue and you have all these small stages and two big stages that you play on. And it was a fantastic feeling being one of them who played and the crowd was fantastic.”
Later that year he also qualified for Grand Slam of Darts, in which he did not advantage from the group stage.
At the end of the year he had qualified for yet another World Championship, and this is probably the most dramatic match at the Ally Pally for the Swede. It was against Steve Beaton in the first round, in which he got up by 2-0. But then the crowd went against him, and it ruined everything for Magnus Caris, who lost the match by 3-2.
“I got the crowd against me because I wasn’t British, and I was close to beat him. They started booing when I was throwing and it effected my mind and I couldn’t get a grip of the game again.”
In 2012 Magnus Caris took a quick trip back to the WDF Tour, as he went to Benidorm Open and ended up winning the tournament.
“That was just for fun. We took a holiday-week and we decided to do it when Benidorm was played. And I had the opportunity to win it. It was great, it was a payed vacation,” Magnus Caris says with a laugh.
Then we skip a little forward in Magnus Caris’ career, till the 5th of July 2015. On this specific day Magnus Caris joined the 9 dart club, as he made the perfect leg against Jason Mariott in the Players Championship.
“That was one of the biggest thing I did achieve in my career.”
In 2016 Magnus Caris once again participated at the UK Open, and at the end of the year he participated in his last PDC World Championship, in which he lost against Adrian Lewis in the first round.
“It was a tough match. I like Adrian, he is a great guy and a fantastic dart player, and I thought, that if I could play my best, maybe I could do some damage, but I wasn’t near my best.”
It all ends in a week
And now we reach present day. The World Cup of Darts is only three days away, and when the tournament is done, then Magnus Caris’ career is officialy over.
“I started thinking about the retirement at the end of last year. 40 years is enough I think, and I would like to spend some quality time with my missus and start playing golf again. And a lot of fishing.”
Photo: PDC/Lawrence Lustig
The retirement also makes a good opportunity to reflect on the career, and therefore the next part of the article will be the exact conversation between this writer and Magnus Caris:
If we take a look on your entire career, who is the best opponent you have met?
“Phil Taylor. He is one of a kind, almost unbeatable.”
Is there something from your career that you regret?
“I don’t regret anything to be honest. It has been an honor to be a part of the dart family. I don’t have any enemies as I know. It’s a big family and we always say hello to each other and wishes each other all the best.”
In 2012 when the SDC started, and then later PDC Nordic & Baltic, what did you feel about this “local” Tour suddenly? Was it great you could participate in tournaments close to your home?
“Yeah absolutely. It’s fantastic how they did it for the Nordic and Baltic. And to have they’re own little tour, and on each weekend we qualify for the European Tour.”
“So it’s fantastic when you go to Denmark and play five tournaments in one weekend instead of travelling to qualify in Germany or Holland on Thursday, and if you qualify you play on Friday. It saves you a lot of money and a lot of time. So PDC Nordic & Baltic are doing a very good job.”
If you have to choose one of the Swedes now, who do you think has the best chance to go in your footsteps?
“At this time I think it is Daniel Larsson. He is doing a great job, but it is hard to tell, because he has become a father for a daughter and a son recently, so I don’t know how much time he can spend on the darts. But he is absolutely the best Swedish player at the moment.”
And then your World Cup-partner, Dennis Nilsson, is number two?
“He is number two. Or three, because I have to believe in myself.”
I asked you about the best opponent you have met, but I we say the best Scandinavian or Baltic player you have met?
“For now I think it is Darius Labanauskas. And a couple of years ago it was Kim Viljanen.”
If we take a look at your participations at the World Cup of Darts, which player do you feel was the best partner you’ve had?
“I played with Daniel two times, and I think we had the best time around it. But we didn’t play our best darts. But the time and the travelling around the World Cup of Darts, I think it was best with Daniel.”
And then now when you stop. Will you still play darts at amateur-level?
“No I’m gonna stop playing. Im not gonna throw a single dart. So it’s going to be over.”
How about the darting world, will you also stop in this? I mean like, could you imagine visiting the PDC Nordic & Baltic tour if it was in Sweden?
“Not as a player, but maybe as an audience.”