JUNE 21-27 has been a mixed week over the years, some remarkable efforts and some almost barren spells. But Darts World’s ‘This Week’ has managed to locate a selection that includes a ‘Founding Father’, a Fairy-tale Prince, a ‘Dark Side Darter’, and one who is ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ for one more title. A random Scandinavian also manages a guest’s appearance.
Forty-Four Years Ago:
John Lowe captured the initial staging of an event that would become almost his personal property. The British Pentathlon involves playing a selection of different darting games, including round the board doubles, and it’s your overall performance that counts. A player capable of the consistency level showed by’ Old Stoneface’ should and did thrive!
During the first dozen holding of this challenging event (1976-87), Lowe won an astounding ten! He was runner-up on another occasion (1981), defeated by Eric Bristow, and only in 1977 did he not make the top two. Before the 1994 split, only two others had claimed the event more than once. Eric and Phil Taylor. Surely no other tournament has been dominated in such a way from its inception?
Twenty Four Years :
The British pentathlon seems to spawn remarkable runs of domination. Perhaps its that the event rewards a set of qualities that are often held to extremes by only one or two players in each era? This week in 1996 Martin Adams picked up his second Pentathlon title. Not for the last time Ronnie Baxter was runner up in a major trophy, Colin Monk, father of, recent 9-Dart hitter, Aaron, was third and the Norwegian, Thor Helmer Johanson was fourth. Adams went on to dominate the event in a similar way to Lowe, but has been stuck on nine since 2011!
Fourteen Years Ago:
Darth Maple, John Part, was striding forth in the second qualifier for the PDC’s Las Vegas Classic. Part qualified, after a failed attempt the day before, by defeating Darts World columnist Colin Osborne, and Steve Maish, in the later stages. The outstanding feature of this effort was not his qualification, but the fact that he went on to win the main event the next day!
The double World champion (later to claim the hattrick) had many peaks and troughs in his career, but this was another example of his knack of delivering on home turf. The Unicorn man clinched the crown after defeating Barney 6-3 in the final.
Four Years Ago:
A Challenge Tour event in June 2016 does not seem likely to have been a major turning point in the history of the PDC. But the winner of that year’s thirteenth second-tier event was engaged on a project, whether he knew it or not, that would validate the entire modern PDC system. On the way to a fine first PDC tournament win, the victor also hit a nine-dart finish.
It is safe to say that for a player who had broken through only months before, this was a decent effort in itself. Yet , after only another few months he claimed his tour card, via the CT order of merit, and twelve months after that he reached his first World Championship. Perhaps we should mention that the winner of CT 13 in 2016 was……………Rob Cross!
Look back through previous ‘This Week’ selections here.