NATHAN ASPINALL goes into the BetFred World Matchplay as a title favourite but admits his career changed by a missed bullseye.
The World No.7 became the inaugural PDC Home Tour lockdown champion three weeks ago and is fired-up for the first major back on the big stage in a month’s time.
But the Stockport ace, 28, revealed he doesn’t think he’d be the latest star of the oche if Gerwyn Price had beaten him at the Worlds two years ago.
He said: “I often do wonder what would have happened if he had hit the bull to beat me three-nil in sets in the second round of the World Championships two years ago. Would I be wear I am now as World No.7?
“Hand on my heart I don’t think I would be. I really really don’t. I do think that game, me beaten someone of his calibre, he was pretty much the best player in the world at that time. To beat him on the biggest stage made me think I am actually good enough.
“I do think that moment and that game changed my whole career. So thank you Gerwyn Price!
“Our sport is 10 per cent ability, 90 per cent in the head. I’m quite strong minded. There’s some players that are and some aren’t. When you are confident and everything is right in your head and at home, it flows.”
Aspinall also admits that other pivotal moments came when he lost the 2015 World Youth Championships to Max Hopp in a deciding leg and then winning his first Players Championship three years later when he was penniless.
He added: “Not many speak about the Youth final to be fair, it absolutely broke me. For six months I couldn’t win a game, I was a broken man. It proper screwed me up. If I hadn’t lost that title I would have got a place in the Worlds and I would have retained my tour card. But I think that’s helped me be the player I’ve become now.
“It means I can dig deep and come back from positions that not many other players can come back from.
“I think that stems from games like that against Max
early on in my career where I’ve had a right good uppercut and now I’ve become stronger”.
“I won my first Players Championship in Barnsley and I didn’t have any money to get a taxi from the Metrodome to the train station. I had no money left but I had just won 10 grand!
“I walked to the train station with a suitcase on the train. I got home and thought ‘wow I can’t wait for that to clear because I’m skint’.
“I was buzzing, it was another moment in my career that I thought I am good enough to make a living out of darts.”
Now Aspinall can’t wait to get back onto the big stage for the Matchplay and he’ll start as a real contender for the title.
He added: “I’m just hoping I can kick off where I left off before lockdown. I’ve upped my practice, I’m playing really well.
“I never thought I’d miss the darts as much as I have. I’ve missed the darts, the lads, the craic, all the things that come with the darts tour.
“We’ve got the Summer Series on July 8 before the Matchplay which is a great idea with the PDC.
“You can play at home in matches and hit big averages but they count for nothing, it’s what happens on the big stage.
“To put the five days of Players Championships on before is a great shout and hopefully that will get rid of some rust and get us ready for the Matchplay, wherever that will be.
“Personally I’d love it to be at Blackpool but I can’t see it. Obviously we’ll have to see what happens on July 4 when the Government announces the next move. But I do think it’s going to be at an alternative venue and likely to be Milton Keynes.”
Pictures by Taylor Lanning
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Continuing our visual imagery theme of the day, the Darts World team thought our readers may enjoy the phone sized background below. Readers requested a Gerwyn Price backdrop after lasts weeks Peter Wright theme:
Darts World’s exciting Freemium area offers a unique opportunity to explore how some of the current global stars of darts have risen to prominence.
Back in October 2015, we featured the charismatic Gerwyn Price who had just claimed the Red Dragon Darts Champion of Champions title. Within just a few years he would be winning back to back Grand Slam of Darts titles and is now unquestionably amongst darts’ elite.
There is also a very good article about the psychology of excuses and ‘the fear of failure’. You can get a taste of it here: What a Loser!
Joe Cullen produced the finest string of displays seen so far on the Unibet Home Tour to win Group 31 on Sunday night.
Cullen, who earned his second chance on the Home Tour having finished runner-up to Ryan Murray in Group 20, began the night with a 106.2 average in a 5-2 win over Keegan Brown.
The 2019 European Tour event winner followed up with another stunning display, averaging 107.6 in a 5-3 defeat of world number three Gerwyn Price 5-3.
A perfect night for Cullen was complete with a 5-0 whitewash of Bradley Brooks, in which the Yorkshireman averaged 105.8, to wrap up the group and advance to the second phase of the competition.
The league phase of the Unibet Home Tour concludes on Monday night with Group 32, which will see reigning World Champion Peter Wright in action.
Unibet Home Tour Group 31 – Sunday May 17 Gerwyn Price 5-3 Bradley Brooks Joe Cullen 5-2 Keegan Brown Bradley Brooks 1-5 Keegan Brown Gerwyn Price 3-5 Joe Cullen Joe Cullen 5-0 Bradley Brooks Keegan Brown 5-4 Gerwyn Price
Luke Woodhouse landed a brilliant nine-darter and claimed victory in the Unibet Home Tour’s Group Two on a memorable Saturday night for the internet-streamed event.
Bewdley’s Woodhouse, who made his breakthrough last year, achieved a moment of perfection during a superb 5-0 win over world number three Gerwyn Price during his three games on the second night of the Home Tour.
Woodhouse was leading 3-0 as he scored back-to-back 177s against Price, before checking out 147 to record the first nine-darter in competition against an opponent from their respective homes.
Woodhouse went on to complete a 5-0 win over Price with an average of almost 114, with 5-2 wins over Ted Evetts and Rowby-John Rodriguez giving him the Group Two victory.
Reigning Grand Slam of Darts champion Price followed World Champion Peter Wright – who competed in Friday’s Group One – in finishing in second place with two wins on the night.
Price had opened proceedings by defeating Austria’s Rodriguez 5-2, and repeated that scoreline to see off Evetts, ending the night with a 130 checkout and a 102 average.
Evetts was a 5-3 winner over Rodriguez in their tie as he finished in third spot, with the Austrian youngster finishing bottom on the night.
The Unibet Home Tour continues on Sunday night with Group Three, which sees Dave Chisnall, Jan Dekker, Jonathan Worsley and Scott Waites competing in the third of 32 nights of action.
As a fan of our ‘Ones to Watch‘ series James Smith got in – touch with his suggestions of the best of 2020, while his ambitions may seem a bit bold, his viewing choice is solid:
As a darts enthusiast, being trapped indoors currently does present one with a great opportunity to work on one’s throw, with the hope of giving Michael van Gerwen a run for his money when we are allowed outside again.
However, there is only so long that you can kid yourself into thinking that you are good enough to become a World Champion. In the meantime, with no new (live) darts being televised, we are left only to look back over what has happened already.
So, to aid this pursuit of entertainment, here is a run down of the six most exciting PDC matches of 2020 so far:
6. Dobey vs Ratajski: UK Open 4th Round.
The early rounds of the UK open of 2020 were graced with some fantastic clashes, especially this contest between top-twenty players Chris Dobey and Krystof Ratajski. Both players are expected to start picking up serious titles this year, and this match showed why.
Both players averaged over 105 across a match that went all the way to the final leg. With Ratajski averaging 56.25% on his doubles, and Dobey 43.48% it is no surprise that this was a close-fought contest.
Ratajski broke throw early in the match to go into a 4 – 2 lead. Dobey responded brilliantly however, breaking throw twice to win four straight legs to go 6 – 4 up. This included a fantastic 121-check on the bullseye in leg nine to break for the second time.
After another break of throw, Ratajski then missed two darts at double sixteen to win 10-8, surprising given then quality of the match. With the pattern of the game continuing however, the Englishman hit the bullseye again, this time for a 92-out, in the final leg of the match, to break Ratajski and go to the next round. Darting drama right from the start.
5. Dave Chisnall vs Daryl Gurney: Masters First Round
Following disappointing World Championship campaigns, both Gurney and Chisnall arrived at the Marshall Arena at the end of January, with a point to prove. However, with the format of the tournament bringing the top sixteen of the PDC Order of Merit, neither player was likely to enjoy an ‘easy’ first round draw.
Both players showed in this first-round clash their undeniable class. Starting well, ‘Chizzy’ raced into a 5 – 2 lead, only for Gurney to bring it back to 5 – 5. The following six legs were then shared to make things 8 – 8, in this first to ten match.
With both players averaging in the low nineties, this wasn’t the highest scoring game ever. But missed doubles throughout the match, including Gurney’s four across the final two legs, meant that this game was full of darting drama from start to finish.
Chizzy emerged a 10 – 8 winner…only to be knocked out in the second round 10 – 0 by title-winner Peter Wright. A great contest as we get stuck into the list:
4. Peter Wright vs Gerwyn Price: PC 5 (Final).
The first of two Players’ Championship events to make this list – the final of PC 5 saw newly-crowned World and Masters Champion Peter Wright, take on Welsh Number One Gerwyn Price.
The final saw the two Major-holders both average over 109 across the fourteen-leg match. This was a fitting end to a day of darts where ninety-one matches saw averages over a hundred – beating the previous world record (set in February 2019) by a staggering twenty-one matches.
Showing the eminent quality of both players, the first thirteen legs of the match went with throw, leaving Wright with a 7-6 lead going into the fourteenth. Then with Price sat on double top, after twelve darts, ‘Snakebite’ hit ‘The Big Fish’ (a 170 Checkout) to seal his first Players Championship title of 2020.
You will struggle to find a final of such consistent quality anywhere else from this season. In fact, Wright’s performance in the final meant that of his seven matches en route to lifting the trophy, he averaged less than one hundred on only one occasion:
3. Nathan Aspinall vs Dirk van Duijvenbode: Belgian Darts Championship Quarter Final
2020 is the first year that the PDC European Tour hosted an event in Belgium. The inaugural venue was the Expo Hasselt, in Hasselt, where forty-eight competitors took to the stage.
The final was won by Gerwyn Price, in an 8-3 victory over Michael Smith. Arguably, however, the game of the tournament came in the Quarter Final between Nathan Aspinall and Dirk van Duijvenbode.
With both players reaching averages of over 102, this match was full of quality, with the Dutchman edging his English opponent 6-5, as the match went right to the final leg. Having hit the twenty-five for a 170-Check, Van Duijvenbode was let off the hook as Aspinall failed to get a dart at a double from ninety-five. The Dutchman cleaned up on double eight to proceed to the semi-fianls.
Despite losing 7-4 to price in the semi’s, he must have been over the moon for his performance that weekend. As well as this being the Dutchman’s first final’s day at a PDC European Tour event, the financial implications are also clear. Van Duijvenbode last season earned £14,500 – after reaching the semi-finals in Belgium, he has already supposed that in 2020.
This is the perfect chance to watch one of the new greats of the game in Aspinall, coming up against a young player of whom much is expected in the years to come:
2. Nathan Aspinall vs Gary Anderson: P.L. (6)
Having not played a Premier League match in almost two years due to injury, Gary Anderson returned to the Thursday-Night tournament continuing to reach his former best. His match against Nathan Aspinall in Liverpool showed that he still has a lot left in the tank.
Gary averaged 94.27 across the match, and flew into a 5-1 lead straight away after Aspinall missed six darts at a double in the first leg. The man from Stockport rallied however, hitting eight maximums to bring the match back level at 5-5.
Aspinall then responded to the Scot’s ninety-five finish to win the final leg to claim a 6-6 draw with an average pushing 108. With both players coming off stage pleased with coming away with a point it isn’t hard to imagine how much quality the two of them were producing:
1. Michael Van Gerwen vs Gerwyn Price: Players’ Championship Six Final
The second match in the list from the Players Championship events from Wigan this year – the final of PC Six saw the MvG lose to the ‘Iceman’ 8-7 in the most thrilling contest of the year.
With over 1,112 180’s thrown over the two days, as well as two nine-dart legs (from MvG and Steve Lennon) the Sunday final had a lot to live up to. It did not disappoint.
Price raced into a 4 – 1 lead, continuing to show the class that has brought him up to number three in the PDC Order of Merit. MvG managed to bring the tie back to 5 – 4, only for the Welshman to win to extend his lead to 7 – 4. As Price struggled to close the game, MvG won legs in eleven, fifteen, and eleven darts again to send the match to a deciding leg for what would have been his first title in 2020.
Price however, took the £10,000 cheque by hitting the bulls eye to complete a 94-checkout with the big Dutchman sat on double eighteen.
Price continues to ooze confidence and class – stating after his victory “I truly believe now that if I hit my double I will win matches against Michael, Peter [Wright] or whoever; my scoring game is up there, if not better than them.”
So there are James’s picks for the best viewing of 2020, so far!
Many thanks to James for his contribution. Perhaps you have a different pick of the 2020 crop? Maybe you have a ‘Six of the Best’ or ‘Ones to Watch’ of your own to offer to those currently stuck within four walls?
Get in touch with your suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org or @Darts_World
If you have been trying, some of the many, new practise drills and games that have been dreamt up, you may be wondering where they came from. SwitchBlade, Middle For Diddle and Sprint (Pro) Half-It were developed by A.I.M:, to assist players they coach,and Kill Bull looks like a Mikko Laiho / Winmau game. Today you can hear, about one of the most famous doubles drills, from the man who invented it!
Now I must own up to a bias, Bob is a man after my own heart in many ways. He was also a seriously good player! As important is his understanding of the game and how to improve and or maintain your performance. It is no accident that Bob had a very long Professional career and still plays to a very high standard, in exhibition and competitive matches, aged over 70.
It may also be significant that Bob was one of the first to have a background in a different (athletic) sport. Gerwyn Price has repeated the trick in this era.
Bob’s first point is one of my favourite rules. Have an aim to your practice, don’t just throw aimlessly at the twenties etc. Bobs next tip is to focus heavily on finishing and hitting that double, his ‘Bob’s 27’ is legendary. Watch it through and give it a few goes. This sets your benchmark and then you should add it to your daily routine. Many players use it as part of their early session or near the start of a longer one.
If you want evidence of how this improves your game check out Bob’s efforts in the 1986 World Masters:
The Limestone Cowboy was as good as they come and, in spells, was outstanding! 151,120,150 & 154! Not often you see that even today. These were hit under serious pressure, on a round wired board, in a major tournament and in quick succession.
So if you want to improve your doubles/finishing listen to Bob Anderson!
This is what ‘Coach’ calls a development (or reset) drill. While high level players will play it as a warm up or settling routine, shorter sharper drills can be better for those at the top. Bob’s 27 gives equal focus to every double, great when your developing, whereas sometimes a sharper focus on those that are used most often is more beneficial.
Darts World will show you a few of these over the coming days and weeks.
Gerwyn Price admits he didn’t instantly know who his top fan Hollywood A-lister Matthew McConaughey was!
The World No.3 Welshman was tweeted by the Dazed and Confused superstar after he retained his Grand Prix title last November.
McConaughey tweeted: “Big ups to the Iceman @Gezzyprice for taking out MVG (Michael Van Gerwen) and the Eagle to win his second consecutive GSD.”
But Price revealed: “It was pretty cool. I’m rubbish with names and I didn’t know who he was until I Googled it.
“I did know who he was to look at. It was great for someone of his calibre to tweet me and say all the best or whatever.”
Such an acknowledgment underlines how Price has been the biggest story of the past 18 months on the oche.
He has left his rivals dazed and confused many times to become the box office blockbuster of the bullseyes.
But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the ex-Neath, Cross Keys and Glasgow Warriors hooker. It’s been a hard slog as the biggest villain of the oche and Price admits he has the battle scars to show for it.
He said: “Some people still don’t like the way I am on stage. I just go up there to do whatever I can to win. I never go up there to cheat or anything, I just do whatever I can do the best I can.
“Sometimes it’s not to everyone’s taste but it gets me going. But I think I’ve got over that barrier now. There’s a few there who don’t want to accept it but that’s up to them.
“I am going to be here for quite a while so it’s something that people have to deal with. I’ve had to put up with a lot of rubbish over the last 18 months.
“In 2019 in the Premier League and Grand Prix it was hard. Just after the Grand Slam in 2018 when I played Gary Anderson and then the Worlds I was 2-0 up against Nathan Aspinall and end up losing 3-2. I think that was the fault of the crowd for being the way they were.
“I had to deal with those situations and I think I did that quite well. If anything it’s made me into a better player. Even though I was having all those boos, it was the best year I ever had.
“That pushed me right up to World No.3. I’m not saying I want that every year but it certainly helped me become a stronger player.
“I’ve got deep scars a lot of other players haven’t got. When it comes to those times when you have to pull things out the bag, it helps.”
Price is all rippling muscles and let-ripping mouthy on stage, but he has become the most compelling player to watch.
But he’s walking the walk to match the talk. After defeating Gary Anderson in ill-tempered fashion to secure his first ever PDC major in 2018, the former rugby player cheekily quipped that he was pinching money from the pockets of darts professionals.
Now he has two major PDC title victories to his name and has earned a staggering £762,750 in prize money over the last two years.
He’s now one of the hottest properties in world darts and currently the biggest rival to World No.1 Van Gerwen – and he wants that top spot.
He added: “Since the Grand Slam I’ve done really well. I think I should have got to the World final, things happened and I left that behind me.
“I’ve now had eight or nine tournaments this year and I’ve reached the finals in most or if not lost to the player who went on to win it.
“I’ve had a really good start to the year but maybe in the tournaments I was runner-up in I should have won.
“In the Players Championship against Peter Wright I should have done that, even though we played some great stuff against each other. I think we both finished on 109 or 110 averages.
“But halfway through that game I bombed opportunities. I had more chances to break him than he did me. That was another one that got away.
“The UK Open final I should have won quite easily if I’d hit my doubles. But that’s the game, if you don’t take your chances you don’t win. At 5-2 up Michael wasn’t in the game, I just let him off the hook a little bit.
“I relatively new in the PDC and to rise up to World No.3 I’m very happy. Obviously I’m looking forward to going up to No.2 or No.1 by the end of this year which I never thought I’d be saying in a million years.
“I’ve done well, if I was never to go further in the rankings or win another major, I’ve done alright.
“But I’m in tournaments to win them. I was just a rugby player pinching money out of the pros pockets. I’m now a professional darts player how and I deserve to be where I am.”
With the darts schedule on lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, Price now admits that his life is all about doubling…and decking.
He added: “It’s a bit boring. I’m not the sort of player to stand there for six or seven hours. Being on the road all the time is my practice. I keep my arm in when I’m home for maybe an hour a day but that’s it. Maybe I’ll start to hit some doubles if I have to practice more!
“We don’t get many breaks so to have this extended time off, I don’t know what to do with myself.
“I’ve got some work to do in the garden but the weather’s not the best so I can’t even do that right now. I’m just stuck in the house eating my own body weight in food!
“I like doing the odd jobs and getting things done. I’ve got to finish the decking out the back and some walls need doing plus a steel fence.”
Ray Reardon, JPR Williams, Lynn Davies, John Charles and, more recently, Gareth Bale. Legends of Welsh sporting prowess. But, even more have been born‘on the oche’:
The triumph of yet another Welsh World Champion, Wayne Warren, together with our latest Darts World ‘Unsung Hero’ (Alan Evans) reminded us of the phenomenal sporting record of the principality. In snooker, rugby, football, and many other areas Wales punches above its weight, producing legendary players/characters. But is for the ‘darts’ floor’ that they just keep on producing.
Honorable mentions to go to Ceri Morgan, who sadly died recently, Marshall James, Johnny Clayton, Jim Williams and legendary Welsh skipper Martin Phillips. But our six Welsh giants are:
Six: Alan Evans
Evans the Arrow can rightly be classed as one of the founders of the feast. He claimed Runner-up spot in The News of The World event and lifted the World Master trophy. Alan was part of the three man team that won the first World Cup and stamped Wales on the darting map. Check out Alan’s Unsung Hero profile.
Five: Gerwyn Price
The Iceman is storming through professional darts, just as he did opposition defences on the Rugby field. The Cardiff man already has two (ranking) major titles to his name and has also twice been a major runner-up. Currently ranked No 3, by the PDC, Price is strongly tipped as a future World Champion and is currently in his third season of Premier League darts.
Four: Wayne Warren
To claim a World Title is impressive at any time, to claim it as your first televised major is remarkable and to do it aged 57 is simply unique. Tynewydd’s favoured son gave the 2020 BDO World Championship the positive story it desperately needed and became the fourth Welsh man to claim the revered trophy. His 2020 form suggests he may add more titles to his collection yet.
Three: Richie Burnett
The Prince of Wales kept the Wrlsh flag flying after the early blaze had begun to fade. Winning the World Masters in 1994 and the World Championship the following year. Burnett has had ups and downs over a long career and probably waited too long before trying his luck on the PDC tours. However, his runner up effort in the 2001 World Matchplay and his comeback run, to the semi, in the World Grand Prix, a decade later demonstrate that he had the talent. Sadly, a social drugs suspension has hastened a decline in his success. Richie’s place amongst Welsh Darting royalty in nonetheless assured.
Two: Leighton Rees
The Marathon Man can lays strong claim to a place among the founding fathers of modern darts. Using self made barrels, dowling stems and paper flights Rees claimed the 1st World Professional Darts Championship in 1978. Often overlooked is that he often averaged over 90 and notched a 97+ on the way to the title. Leighton’s Welsh outfit claimed that first World Cup in ’77, & retained it in ’78. The big man had taken the Indoor League title in ’74 & ’76. Bearing in mind that Indoor League introduced darts to a mass audience, while Rees won the game many fans, by personality as well as ability, he was a strong contender for the top spot.
One: Mark Webster!
Despite Leighton’s claim, its the Denbigh player who carries the flag for the Welsh legends. Webster belongs to an exclusive club of World Champions who have also won the World Cup Singles titles. His defeat of Simon Whitlock, to win the Worlds, in 2008, restored Wales to the top of the darting tree after more than a decade. The fact he was only twenty-four ensured plenty more was to come.
Webster switched to the PDC and made sure Wales was represented, at the highest level, during a vital time for the professional game. Webby twice reached the semi finals of the (PDC) World Championship and was later the runner-up in the Players Championship finals.
Mark was the first Welshman to play in The Premier League and skippered the Welsh pairing (with Barrie Bates) on a tremendously popular run to the final of the inaugural World Cup of Darts (PDC).
Currently Mark is on a sabbatical from the Pro Tour, he can however be heard summarising major TV events. Who knows, as he is only 36, perhaps there are more chapters in the story of our top Welsh Darter!
Since the start of the 2020 season there has been much comment on the regularity of 9-Dart Legs. These perfect moments are one of darts unique features and, as such, they are the source of much discussion. While looking into them we came across a few nuggets of 9-dart news that were too good not to share:
Nine: How many times Nine?
Competitive and authenticated 9-dart legs have been struck by 131 different players between today in 1976 and 2020. Only thirty-six players have done it more than once. fifteen three-plus times and The Power, MVG and Jackpot are alone in the ‘double figures club’.
Eight: Oatcakes are the Key.
Stoke-on-Trent is the ‘official’ home of the nine dart hitter! Potteries natives, and adopted sons, have collected over forty perfect legs between them. Phil Taylor (21) Adrian Lewis (11) Ian White (5) and Andy Hamilton (3) lead the line for ‘The Potters’.
Seven: Nowt for the Count.
Missing from the list are a number of legends both past and present. Ted Hankey, for example, has not recorded a ‘niner’. Less surprising are those who rose to fame before John Lowe’s breaking of the bogey. Martin Adams does not seem to have claimed a perfect moment despite multiple world and major titles.
Six: One Shot John?
Old Stoneface may have fired the starting gun, hitting the his TV nine darter in 1984, but did not register another. Despite playing at the highest level for another twenty years, after picking up £100,000 for being the first, John Lowe only features once. Perhaps the drop in prize money was too big!
Five: On a Pair.
Glen Durrant has a unique claim. He and Claire Stainsby hit the 9-Dart doubles leg during the British international Open in 2013. Glen also appears, solo, in our list. Thus Duzza, is the only person to have officially recorded perfect legs as part of a pair and whilst standing alone!
Four: The Iceman Not Yet Cometh.
Gerwyn Price is the highest ranked player not to have made his mark on the 9-Dart bedpost. The Welshman famously hit a ‘unofficial 9-darter’ between sessions during a televised match in 2019 but he has yet to hit one in the heat of battle.
Three: Chasing Unicorns.
Unicorn darts can easily claim the greatest success rate, and barrel style, even a casual look at the table reveals that the first TV 9-darter, the first live UK 9 darter, the first Ally Pally and many more were completed by Unicorn men. Taylor, Barney, Jackpot, Wade, Anderson and White have hit many with their Unicorn barrels. A rough count gives them over 50 of darts great moments.
Two: Original & Unique.
Kyle Anderson stands out from other players toward the top of the list. The Australian has hit 6 ‘niners’, in his relatively short career, placing him seventh overall . He is yet to win a major trophy or even reach the final. He has claimed only a single Pro Tour level win and has not troubled the elite rankings in terms of the top ten, or even top sixteen,and is currently ranked outside the top forty. It should be remembered that he is only 32 years old, and may well have more to come.
One: Mighty Impressive!
MVG appears set to blow a hole in most of these stats. He is still only thirty, and at the peak of his powers, but has already hit the youngest TV ‘niner’ and the first World Championship one with a varied the route (he went T19 on his 6th dart). Micheal heads most lists, for total 9-darters hit, and has already added a couple more in recent times. The fact he has hit one, or more, with his new weapons should bode well for those wishing to see records broken and new ground struck.
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