By Paul Woodage
FOR the seventh successive year, Sindelfingen in Germany plays host to the European Darts Grand Prix.
It is the third PDC European Tour event of the year and Ian White looks to defend the title he won in March last year against Peter Wright.
The top 16 entrants from the PDC ProTour Order of Merit as from the 14th February are seeded and joined by 32 qualifier all competing for the £25,000 winners cheque and title.
With the seeds joining the event in the second round on Saturday it was left for the 32 qualifiers to battle it out on the opening day of the tournament.
Reigning champion Ian White will meet former Grand Slam Champion Scott Waites as he begins his defence of the title. The Bradford man narrowly defeated fellow Englishman Jason Lowe 6-5 in his first round match.
Mervyn King came though a nervy last leg decider against the Nordic and Baltic qualifier Mindaugas Barauskas. The Lithuanian almost claimed a large scalp but it was King who edged it to set up a tasty clash against world number one, Michael van Gerwen.
Crowd favourite and local boy Max Hopp also sealed safe passage to round two with a 6-4 win over Croatian Pero Ljubic. The German number one will now meet Dutchman Vincent van der Voort. His World Cup of Darts team mate, Gabriel Clemens joins him in round two after he defeated his compatriot Steffen Siepmann and will now meet 2018 finalist James Wade.
It was a very successful day for Ireland as Willie O’Connor joins Steve Lennon in round two. The Magpie defeated Chris Dobey in the final match of the night and will now face the Premier League runner up, Nathan Aspinall tomorrow.
Adam Hunt produced a fantastic display in knocking out the in form Damon Heta. The Australian enjoyed his maiden pro tour title earlier this year in Germany but ran into a rampant Hunt who averaged over 100 in a comprehensive 6-1 victory. His reward is a match against former world champion Rob Cross.
The Devon Petersen train continues to power along very nicely as he saw off young Harry Ward. Next up for the South African is undoubtably the tie of the round as he goes head to head with the newly crowned World Grand Prix Champion, Gerwyn Price.
Veteran Belgian Kim Huybrechts looks to continue his return to form with a win against John Henderson. The Scot will be representing his nation for the first time in the up coming World Cup of Darts but his involvement in this event was ended as he was blown away by the Hurricane.
There was an impressive win for Dave Evans as he came through his qualifier on Thursday night before seeing off Germany’s Kai Gotthardt 6-3 with an excellent display. The Tyldesley man secured his PDC tour card last week by topping the Challenge Tour Order of Merit and now faces the big Austrian, Mensur Suljovic for a place in the last 16.
Friday 16th October
Best of 11 legs
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-4 Jonathan Worsley
Mervyn King 6-5 Mindaugas Barauskas
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-1 Luke Woodhouse
Kai Gotthardt 3-6 David Evans
Scott Waites 6-5 Jason Lowe
Nico Kurz 6-5 Stefan Bellmont
Darius Labanauskas 6-4 Michael Unterbuchner
Harry Ward 1-6 Devon Petersen
Kim Huybrechts 6-2 John Henderson
Max Hopp 6-4 Pero Ljubic
Derk Telnekes 6-3 Robert Marijanovic
Steve Lennon 6-3 Madars Razma
Markus Buffler 3-6 Martijn Kleermaker
Adam Hunt 6-1 Damon Heta
Steffen Siepmann 3-6 Gabriel Clemens
Chris Dobey 3-6 William O’Connor
Saturday 17th October
Best of 11 legs
(6) Daryl Gurney v Maik Kuivenhoven
(11) Glen Durrant v Nico Kurz
(3) Ian White v Scott Waites
(14) Michael Smith v Derk Telnekes
(7) Dave Chisnall v Darius Labanauskas
(10) Joe Cullen v Kim Huybrechts
(2) Gerwyn Price v Devon Petersen
(15) Jose De Sousa v Ricardo Pietreczko
(5) Mensur Suljovic v David Evans
(12) Jamie Hughes v Steve Lennon
(4) Krzysztof Ratajski v Martijn Kleermaker
(13) Rob Cross v Adam Hunt
(8) James Wade v Gabriel Clemens
(9) Nathan Aspinall v Chris Dobey/William O’Connor
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Mervyn King
(16) Vincent van der Voort v Max Hopp