Micheal van Gerwen had the latest 9-dart moment. The World no.1 added to his ever growing list of perfect legs during his Players Championship semi-final over the weekend.The latest nine-darter (vs Krzysztof Ratajski) means that MVG is closing in on Phil Taylor who had 21 official 9-dart finishes during his career.
His latest effort will also be pleasing to Van Gerwen’s new darts sponsor. The Dutchman moved to Winmau in January and has had a slightly up and down time since.
He has won well in the Premier League and recorded some high averages, but seemed to be a little less consistent that in previous years. Perhaps a corner has been turned.
Dutch youngster, Mike van Duivenbode, smashed in the perfect leg during his first PDC match of the 2020 season during his 6-5 win over Chris Dobey at Players Championship 1.
Nathan Aspinall also rattled in a perfect leg, during Players Championship 2, the following day. ‘9 Darters’ were once a rarity even at the highest level. So much so that a rolling prize fund used to be offered for anyone who hit one during the Pro Tour events. Often these funds would mount up to many thousands of pounds even though they were £500 per event or less!
During the opening ProTour weekend of the year, “The Silencer” Jeff Smith also stamped his return to the PDC ProTour for the first time since 2013 with aplomb, making a run to the Players Championship 1 final.
Smith defeated the likes of Aspinall, Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall along the way with some outstanding performances before finishing runner-up after an 8-4 defeat in the final, at the hands of in-form Gary Anderson.
Smith also followed on this form into Sunday’s Players Championship 2 – narrowly losing at the last 16 stage 6-5 against Dirk van Duijvenbode. Smith couldn’t have asked for a much better start to his PDC return, earning £7,500 on to his Order of Merit ranking over the two days.
Nathan Aspinall came out the eventual winner of the tournament, hitting a 9-dart finish along the way during a colossal tussle with World Champion Peter Wright before defeating Gerwyn Price 8-3.
Brendan Dolan also showed glimpses of his superb floor form from the end of 2019 as he made a run to Players Championship 1 semi-finals, losing out to Jeff Smith. It appears that Brendan has solidified his performances and will be worth keeping an eye on in coming months.
Full Players Championships results available from DartConnect here.
Matthew Dennant and Jitse Van der Wal picked up titles as the opening Unicorn Challenge Tour weekend of 2020 drew to a close in Wigan on Sunday.
The PDC’s second-tier tour continued with the third and fourth events of the year, each offering £10,000 in prize money, after Saturday’s opening day saw victories for Scott Mitchell and Robert Collins.
The day began with Event Three as Dennant claimed the second Challenge Tour title of his career, and his first since 2013.
Dennant, a Tour Card Holder from 2016-17, took the scalps of Cameron Menzies, Gordon Mathers and Dave Parletti on his way to the final, while also averaging 102.5 in his last 16 win over Connor Scutt.
Northern Irish youngster Nathan Rafferty battled from 4-2 down to take the final all the way, but Dennant found a timely 180 in a 13-dart deciding leg to seal victory.
Event Three also saw former World Championship semi-finalist Andy Jenkins hit the first nine-dart finish of the year in a PDC event in his 5-4 defeat to Lukas Wenig at the last 256 stage.
Event Four saw Dutch youngster Van der Wal taste victory at the end of his first weekend competing on the Challenge Tour.
The 20-year-old, who played at European Qualifying School for the first time last weekend, defeated James Hubbard 5-3 in the quarter-finals before overcoming compatriot Arjan Konterman 5-2 in the final.
The next PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour weekend will be held from April 11-12 at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.
See full results and stats from Events Three and Four through DartConnect.
2020 PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour results Events Three and Four, Sunday January 26
Event Three Last 16 Paul Williams 5-2 Jamie Clark Gordon Mathers 5-2 James Richardson Matthew Dennant 5-3 Connor Scutt Cameron Menzies 5-4 Jacob Gwynne Boris Koltsov 5-2 A.J. Urmston-Toft James Hubbard 5-2 Richie Burnett Nathan Rafferty 5-3 Jake Jones Graham Usher 5-4 Scott Williams
Quarter-Finals Gordon Mathers 5-1 Paul Williams Matthew Dennant 5-1 Cameron Menzies James Hubbard 5-2 Boris Koltsov Nathan Rafferty 5-4 Graham Usher
Semi-Finals Matthew Dennant 5-3 Gordon Mathers Nathan Rafferty 5-1 James Hubbard
Final Matthew Dennant 5-4 Nathan Rafferty
Event Four Last 16 Arjan Konterman 5-0 Scott Mitchell Cody Harris 5-1 Rhys Hayden Tytus Kanik 5-1 Dom Taylor Scott Taylor 5-1 Boris Koltsov James Hubbard 5-4 Steve Hine Jitse Van der Wal 5-3 Stuart Dutton Daniel Ayres 5-4 Eddie Lovely Brian Raman 5-3 David Ladley
Quarter-Finals Arjan Konterman 5-4 Cody Harris Scott Taylor 5-0 Tytus Kanik Jitse Van der Wal 5-3 James Hubbard Daniel Ayres 5-4 Brian Raman
Semi-Finals Arjan Konterman 5-3 Scott Taylor Jitse Van der Wal 5-4 Daniel Ayres
Micheal Van Gerwen announced a return to his best, with a superb 9 dart leg, in his match against Adrian Lewis this afternoon.
MVG often turns on the style against players of a similar speed and fluency to himself and today was no exception. Leading 4-3, but with Lewis not out of it, Micheal hit a maximum 180 to get the leg under-way. He opted for 177 with his second throw, hitting t19 last dart. Two T20s and a smooth D12 finished it off in style.
The Butlins crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy their brief glimpse of perfection. This was Micheals 6th televised 9 dart leg and followed the path he set down early. He was both the youngest player to hit one and the first to do so without going 180, 180 with the first two turns.
Some observers had commented on the world number one seeming sub-par, in recent months, and wondered if the improvement of other players, such as Gerwyn Price had increased the pressure on the 30-year-old Dutchman.
It seems that MVG is keen to get back to winning way at the business end of the 2019 season.
Our Player of the Month Award is a chance for any player to get their name in ‘The History Books’and claim a superb set of Winmau ‘Pro-Line’ darts. Each month we receive a large number of nominations from members of teams, owners of venues, and darts fans.
Whether it’s a local player who has a great day or a well-known star playing in their off-stage qualifier everyone has a chance for a mention and a darts related prize. A new name is added to the Hall of Fame every month. Look for the latest entrant in your monthly print/digital copy!
APRIL – Justin Lews
MARCH – Emily Carroll
FEBRUARY – LUCY WILSON – SWANSEA
JANUARY – ASHLEIGH TURNER – SUSSEX
DECEMBER – STANLEY O’QUINN – BISHOP’S STORTFORD
NOVEMBER – HAYDEN RICHARDSON – Margate
OCTOBER – TOMMY DAVIES
SEPTEMBER – GERAINT NEWMAN
AUGUST – ABIGAIL THWAITE – BRENTWOOD
JULY – TAVIS DUDENEY – SUSSEX
JUNE – BARRY JONES – RHONDDA
MAY – JONATHAN SHARP – NORWICH
APRIL – COLIN FRANCIS – ISLE OF WIGHT
MARCH – STEVE JENKINS
FEBRUARY – RODNEY MAGOWAN
JANUARY – DENNIS BRYANT
DECEMBER – CARL WILSON
NOVEMBER – KEITH ALLMAN
OCTOBER – RYAN PALMER
SEPTEMBER – JOBY BOOTH
AUGUST – PHIL HALLS
JULY – JOHN DAVEY
JUNE – WAYNE DAVIES
MAY – MARK GRIMES
APRIL – WAYNE WARREN
MARCH – REECE ROBINSON
FEBRUARY – IVAN BELL
JANUARY – TYLER REYNOLDS
December – John Mann (10 Darter)
November – Tony Littleton (9 Darter)
October – Colin Radcliffe, Alun Pritchard & John Buckingham (12 Darters)
GERWYN PRICE hit a nine-dart finish on Day Two of the Czech Darts Open in Prague on Saturday, while Michael van Gerwen was one of 11 seeded players to fall at the first hurdle.
Day Two of the ninth European Tour event of 2019 saw 32 players in action as the 16 seeded players faced Friday’s winners at the PVA Expo Praha, all looking to secure places in Finals Day of the £140,000 event.
A phenomenal match between Gerwyn Price and Glen Durrant not only saw Price average over 100 but also saw the Welshman send the Czech crowd into a frenzy with a perfect nine-dart finish in the final leg of his 6-4 victory.
“It’s the first one I’ve ever hit in competition, it was going to happen sooner or later,” said Price.
“Every time I’m on for the nine I always miss the double and today it’s gone in.”
Price now sets up a third round clash with Simon Whitlock who survived a scare as an unfortunate fall-out when Justin Pipe was on a finish, let the Australian swoop in and claim a 6-5 win.
32-time European Tour event winner Michael van Gerwen missed 13 darts at a double as Keegan Brown sent the World Number One home in a last leg decider, averaging 97.53 in the process.
“Winning in these conditions is always great but to do it against Michael is second to none”said Brown.
“I go into every tournament thinking I’m going to win it and today was no different, that’s it.”
Brown will face Danny Noppert in the third round after the Dutchman edged out Darren Webster 6-4 in a tense affair.
11 of the 16 seeded players were unable to claim a place in tomorrow’s Finals Day action, including an out-of-sorts Adrian Lewis falling victim to a whitewash from Jamie Hughes, as well as James Wade being beaten comprehensively by Mervyn King.
King will face his nickname namesake Corey Cadby in the third round, who’s dream European Tour debut continued with a 6-5 last-leg deciding win over Michael Smith.
Jermaine Wattimena also secured a spot in the third round after a 6-2 victory over Jonny Clayton and Andrew Gilding reached Finals Day of a European Tour event for just the third time in his career after seeing off Nathan Aspinall 6-4.
Elsewhere, Ron Meulenkamp kept the possibility of a World Matchplay place alive with a 6-4 defeat of Steve Beaton. As did Ted Evetts who saw off Ricky Evans 6-3 in a bid for a place at The Winter Gardens.
However, Daryl Gurney ended William O’Connor’s hopes of a place in the World Matchplay after defeating the Irishman 6-4.
Danish Darts Open finalist Chris Dobey continued his fine European Tour form with a 6-3 beating of Joe Cullen and Ian White overcame a hostile Czech crowd and secured his place in Sunday’s Finals Day after defeating Host Nation Qualifier Karel Sedlacek 6-4.
Stephen Bunting wanted a piece of the seed toppling action and came out the 6-4 victor in his clash against Peter Wright, but there were no mistakes being made by Mensur Suljovic who whitewashed John Henderson and secured his place in the final 16.
Sunday’s third and final day of the Czech Darts Open will see the Last 16 matches take place in the afternoon session, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening.
All the action will be broadcast on PDCTV-HD, and through a series of bookmakers’ websites worldwide.
Saturday June 29 Second Round Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Jermaine Wattimena 6-2 Jonny Clayton Danny Noppert 6-4 Darren Webster Simon Whitlock 6-5 Justin Pipe Andrew Gilding 6-4 Nathan Aspinall Daryl Gurney 6-4 William O’Connor Ian White 6-4 Karel Sedlacek Ron Meulenkamp 6-4 Steve Beaton Mervyn King 6-2 James Wade
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST) Ted Evetts 6-3 Ricky Evans Chris Dobey 6-3 Joe Cullen Stephen Bunting 6-4 Peter Wright Keegan Brown 6-5 Michael van Gerwen Mensur Suljovic 6-0 John Henderson Gerwyn Price 6-4 Glen Durrant Jamie Hughes 6-0 Adrian Lewis Corey Cadby 6-5 Michael Smith
Sunday June 30 Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST) Third Round Keegan Brown v Danny Noppert Mensur Suljovic v Ted Evetts Stephen Bunting v Chris Dobey Daryl Gurney v Jermaine Wattimena Ian White v Andrew Gilding Jamie Hughes v Ron Meulenkamp Mervyn King v Corey Cadby Gerwyn Price v Simon Whitlock
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST) Quarter-Finals Brown/Noppert v Suljovic/Evetts Bunting/Dobey v Gurney/Wattimena White/Gilding v Hughes/Meulenkamp King/Cadby v Price/Whitlock
Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order
Format All games up to and including the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals the best of 13 legs and the final the best of 15 legs.
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