Young Guns Forcing Generational Change? Or The Old Guard Failing To Keep Up?

Darts World lets our readers have their voice heard and, it’s fair to say, our reader *Elias Wilhelm has gone from gentle homage to the Winter Gardens, to a full blast at some of our senior Pro’s:

In recent years, many young players, such as Aspinall, Dobey or De Zwaan, have attracted a lot of attention. Slowly, but surely they supplant themselves into the world’s elite. Slightly older players just can’t seem to keep up.

The Asp, Nathan Aspinall, has been amongst a group of younger players nipping at the heels of those who have been at the top for many years.(pic: Taylor Lanning)

How can it be that these are being harassed by young players from their place at the top of the world? Terry Jenkins, Ronnie Baxter, Mervyn King, Kevin Painter, Andy Hamilton, Robert Thorton. These were all players who have played in the Premier League in the last ten years. Now some have almost completely disappeared, while some have to fight to keep their spot on the tour.

Raymond van Barneveld ended his career simply because he no longer had the ability to win. He was in pain. It was too hard for him to endure, to go to tournaments, and hardly ever to win.

In addition, many trips were a problem for him. His departure was then at the end of last year full of disgrace. That’s exactly how many older players feel. The whole trips back and forth is much too exhausting. The tournament calendar is getting more and more crowded.

RVB’s career petered out over the last few years (PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG).

The tournaments are indispensable for them because otherwise, they would drop in the rankings. That’s why they have no choice if they want to stay successful, they have to play and play and play. On top of that, strong young players join in. Especially the players, like Nathan Aspinall, who are almost unstoppable. Full of energy, they’re pushing up the rankings. Also players, like Humphries or Van Den Bergh, who beat big players every now and then and score good results.


All this makes it difficult for the older players, which is why it is no wonder that they are slowly being ousted from the world elite. Experience no longer plays such a big role and young players have a lot of self-confidence and no respect for,(or perhaps, fear of) the older players.

Everbronze? The Adonis does not conform to the conventions in any way!

Many are happy when players like Steve Beaton or Mervyn King can still keep up. But it is obvious that time is running out for the veterans.


Elias Wilhelm (@ewh27) is a Darts World reader and budding darts writer who appears to be getting the hang of our ‘Talking Points’!

*Reader’s writes is Darts World’s area for our reader’s voices to be heard. Their views are their own and do not represent the opinions of the magazine or its staff.

Unibet Home Tour 27: Waites Claims Group In Style.

Scott Waites won all three of his games to win the group on Night 27 of the Unibet Home Tour, and secure safe passage to the Last 32 stage. 

The former Grand Slam champion was imperious on the doubles as he saw off Steve Beaton, Ron Meulenkamp and Ross Smith to take top spot. 

He kicked off the night with a comeback 5-3 victory over Beaton, and followed that by a devastating 5-0 win over Meulenkamp. 

Smith also started strongly, seeing off Meulenkamp 5-1 and edging out Beaton 5-4 to set up a group-deciding clash with Waites. 

But two-time BDO Champion Waites had too much as he ran out a 5-2 winner to seal the group. 

The final game of the night, although merely for pride between Beaton and Meulenkamp, proved to be one of the most entertaining as the Dutchman landed a 180 before a 161 finish to steal it in a deciding leg. 

Action continues on the Unibet Home Tour on Thursday and can be watched live and free through PDCTV for registered users (new users can sign up for FREE here), as well as through bookmakers’ websites and international broadcasters.

PDC Home Tour

Registered PDCTV members can also watch for FREE through the official PDC App.

Unibet Home Tour 
Group 27 – Wednesday May 13 (1930 BST)
Steve Beaton 3-5 Scott Waites
Ross Smith 5-1 Ron Meulenkamp
Scott Waites 5-0 Ron Meulenkamp
Steve Beaton 4-5 Ross Smith
Ross Smith 2-5 Scott Waites
Ron Meulenkamp 5-4 Steve Beaton

Unibet Home Tour: Line-ups & Fixtures Revealed.

Michael Smith and Steve Beaton will be among the players returning to Unibet Home Tour action this week, with the line-ups & fixtures confirmed for Groups 26-28 from May 12-14.

Beaton will return, to the Home Tour, for a third time.

With almost all of the 101 Tour Card Holders who registered an interest in taking part in the Unibet Home Tour having played across the opening 24 nights, the remaining groups will mainly be filled with previous group runners-up.

World number five Smith will make his second Unibet Home Tour appearance in Thursday’s Group 28, while experienced Beaton will get his second chance in Group 27 on Wednesday.
 
Tuesday will see the 26th of 32 consecutive nights of live darts take place, as former ProTour event winner Steve Brown returns along with Belgian youngster Mike De Decker.

Wigan’s Martin Atkins will also take part in Group 26, while Conan Whitehead receives a second invitation after seeing his Group 12 campaign affected due to technical difficulties for Keegan Brown.

Beaton headlines Wednesday’s Group 27, which will also feature former Grand Slam of Darts winner and double Lakeside Champion Scott Waites, 2019 UK Open quarter-finalist Ross Smith and Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp.

Premier League star Michael Smith will star in Group 28 on Thursday, with reigning World Youth Champion Luke Humphries also in action alongside emerging Dutch talent Mike van Duivenbode and experienced campaigner Andy Boulton.

Places in Groups 26-32 for previous group runners-up are being allocated based on PDC Order of Merit position, with higher-placed players being given the first option to compete for a second time. The players for Groups 29-32 will be confirmed in due course.

Any player who will be participating but is yet to do so is solely down to scheduling reasons.

The nightly league format sees all four competitors play each other once in matches played over the best of nine legs, with a winner crowned each night.

Each night’s action will commence at 1930 BST, with darts commentator Dan Dawson on hand to talk through proceedings, which will also include live score graphics on screen.

All Unibet Home Tour action will be broadcast live on PDCTV for FREE to ALL registered PDCTV users, regardless of whether you have a paid or free membership.

Registered PDCTV members can also watch for FREE through the official PDC App.

Fans in Great Britain and Ireland can also watch the action through the Sky Sports app.

As well as being shown through a series of bookmakers’ websites, the Unibet Home Tour is being broadcast live by a number of the PDC’s international broadcast partners.

Unibet Home Tour
Group 26 Fixtures
Tuesday May 12
Conan Whitehead v Steve Brown
Mike De Decker v Martin Atkins
Steve Brown v Martin Atkins
Conan Whitehead v Mike De Decker
Mike De Decker v Steve Brown
Martin Atkins v Conan Whitehead

Group 27 Fixtures
Wednesday May 13
Steve Beaton v Scott Waites
Ross Smith v Ron Meulenkamp
Scott Waites v Ron Meulenkamp
Steve Beaton v Ross Smith
Ross Smith v Scott Waites
Ron Meulenkamp v Steve Beaton

Group 28 Fixtures
Thursday May 14
Michael Smith v Mike van Duivenbode
Luke Humphries v Andy Boulton
Mike van Duivenbode v Andy Boulton
Michael Smith v Luke Humphries
Luke Humphries v Mike van Duivenbode
Andy Boulton v Michael Smith

Tournament Rules
* All matches are the best of nine legs.
* The player listed on the left of the fixture will throw first in odd-numbered legs.
* Two Points awarded for a win.
* Should players finish level on Points, the Leg Difference will be used to decide positions. Should Points and Leg Difference be equal between two players, then the winner of the game between the two players will determine who finishes higher. Should Points and Leg Difference be equal between three players, the Overall Average of each player (across the three games on the night) will be used to determine who finishes higher.

ENDS

Unibet Home Tour: Wilkinson Bags Lucky 13!

Carl Wilkinson won Group 13 of the Unibet Home Tour, as the home-staged tournament continued on Wednesday night.

Carl Wilkinson (pic PDC)

A perfect night for Wilkinson began with a comprehensive 5-0 whitewash of Matthew Edgar, in which he averaged 101.6, before backing it up with a 5-3 success over Callan Rydz.

Steve Beaton’s 5-1 loss to Edgar proved to be a huge setback, as it meant the former Lakeside champion needed to win at least 5-1 against Wilkinson in the night’s final game.

However, Beaton was unable to pull it out of the bag, with Wilkinson sealing a hat-trick of wins by a 5-2 scoreline.

The Unibet Home Tour continues on Thursday night with Group 14, which will see two-time TV semi-finalist Chris Dobey in action, along with Ron Meulenkamp, Kai Fan Leung and Ciaran Teehan.

Unibet Home Tour 
Group 13 – Wednesday April 29
Steve Beaton 5-1 Callan Rydz
Carl Wilkinson 5-0 Matthew Edgar
Carl Wilkinson 5-3 Callan Rydz
Matthew Edgar 5-1 Steve Beaton
Callan Rydz 5-2 Matthew Edgar
Carl Wilkinson 5-2 Steve Beaton

Group 14 – Thursday April 30 (1930 BST)
Chris Dobey v Ciaran Teehan
Ron Meulenkamp v Kai Fan Leung
Ciaran Teehan v Kai Fan Leung
Chris Dobey v Ron Meulenjamp
Ron Meulenkamp v Ciaran Teehan
Kai Fan Leung v Chris Dobey

Home Tour 13-16: Beaton & Dobey To Appear.

Experienced Steve Beaton and two-time televised semi-finalist Chris Dobey are amongst the next 16 players set to take part in the Unibet Home Tour, with the line-ups and fixtures confirmed for Groups 13 to 16.

‘Experienced’ The Adonis will certainly be a draw for long term darts fans!

Fans’ favourite Beaton, the former Lakeside Champion who remains inside the world’s top 30 after 36 years in the sport, will headline Wednesday night’s Group 13 action while rising star Dobey will compete in Group 14 on Thursday as the home-broadcast event continues.
 
Wednesday will see the 13th of 32 consecutive nights of live darts take place, as Beaton faces young prospect Callan Rydz in the opening game of Group 13.

Matthew Edgar, who took part in the recent ‘Darts At Home’ trial events ahead of the Home Tour’s launch, will return to action, along with Yorkshireman Carl Wilkinson.

Thursday’s Group 14 will begin with a match between Dobey and Irish youngster Ciaran Teehan, before Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp and Hong Kong’s Kai Fan Leung enter the live broadcast.

2012 World Championship runner-up Andy Hamilton and former Players Championship Finals semi-finalist Darren Webster will star in Friday’s Group 15, which will also feature Scott Baker and Bradley Brooks.

As the tournament reaches the halfway stage on Saturday, one of the world’s fastest throwers Ricky Evans will headline Group 16.

Dialling in from Canada will be former North American Championship winner Jeff Smith, with German youngster Christian Bunse and Martin Atkins also set to be involved in Group 16 action.

The nightly league format will see all four competitors play each other once in matches played over the best of nine legs, with a winner crowned each night.

The first ten nights of Unibet Home Tour action have seen Nathan Aspinall and Dave Chisnall amongst the group winners, while Luke Woodhouse’s sensational nine-dart leg from his kitchen remains the stand-out moment of the tournament so far.

With each night’s action commencing at 1930 BST, darts commentator Dan Dawson will be on hand to talk through proceedings, which will also include live score graphics on screen.

All Unibet Home Tour action will be broadcast live on PDCTV for FREE to ALLregistered PDCTV users, regardless of whether you have a paid or free membership.

Registered PDCTV members can also watch for FREE through the official PDC App.

Fans in Great Britain and Ireland can also watch the action through the Sky Sports app.

As well as being shown through a series of bookmakers’ websites, the Unibet Home Tour is being broadcast live by a number of the PDC’s international broadcast partners.

Unibet Home Tour
Group 13 Fixtures
Wednesday April 29

Steve Beaton v Callan Rydz
Matthew Edgar v Carl Wilkinson
Callan Rydz v Carl Wilkinson
Steve Beaton v Matthew Edgar
Matthew Edgar v Callan Rydz
Carl Wilkinson v Steve Beaton

Group 14 Fixtures
Thursday April 30

Chris Dobey v Ciaran Teehan
Ron Meulenkamp v Kai Fan Leung
Ciaran Teehan v Kai Fan Leung
Chris Dobey v Ron Meulenjamp
Ron Meulenkamp v Ciaran Teehan
Kai Fan Leung v Chris Dobey

Group 15 Fixtures
Friday May 1

Darren Webster v Bradley Brooks
Scott Baker v Andy Hamilton
Bradley Brooks v Andy Hamilton
Darren Webster v Scott Baker
Scott Baker v Bradley Brooks
Andy Hamilton v Darren Webster

Group 16 Fixtures
Saturday May 2

Ricky Evans v Martin Atkins
Christian Bunse v Jeff Smith
Martin Atkins v Jeff Smith
Ricky Evans v Christian Bunse
Christian Bunse v Martin Atkins
Jeff Smith v Ricky Evans

This Week! Darts World’s Regular Review of The ‘Arrows’ Archive.

Moving further and further through, the calendar, we find that events become more frequent. This Week (22nd-28th March) features the debut of a, fondly remembered, TV event – from almost forty years ago -, The rise of the first darting ‘Iceman’ and The Power being unplugged.

38 Years Ago:

Featured he first holding of the legendary Double Diamond Masters. In many minds the darts event is more kindly thought of than the beer! The first winner was Ken Stringer, a player whom we know little about (perhaps our readers can provide some colour?) Ken defeated Sandy Pattinson, in the trophy match, while Northern Ireland’s Steve Brennan and Peter Locke, of Wales, were beaten semi finalists.

Coming Soon: Beaton & The Double Diamond Masters!

Both Brennan and Locke were far more storied names and went on to reach World Championship Qtr finlas. Perhaps the DD Masters was just one of those events. A couple of years later the DD would feature the TV debut of a darting legend who is still at the top of the game today!

Another bit of trivia to note: None of the big four legends of that golden era Bristow, Lowe, Wilson or Anderson ever claimed the Double Diamond!

22 Years Ago:

Alan Warriner-Little collected to the German Open title. The original ‘Iceman’ added the crown to the Dutch Open, that he had already claimed, in a very impressive start to 1998. At that time many events were open to non PDC players, especially those held under the banner of the WDF (effectively simply accredited by the PDC for rankings and opportunity for their players.) Robbie Widdows was the defeated finalist with Roland Scholten and John Walton reaching the last four.

Warriner-Little had a very strong year in ’98. After his strong start he went on to reach the final of the World Masters. He claimed the English Open title he reached multiple later stages, and indeed finals, of WDF & PDC events. The climax of the season saw him reach the last four of the PDC World Championship, his best result at the event, early in 1999.

12 Years Ago:

Mark Walsh: Conquered The Power during a great 2008

Featured a Pro Tour victory for Mark ‘Special Brew’ Walsh. Walshie is sometimes overlooked and not given full credit for what he has achieved in darts. In, and around, 2009 Phil Taylor was cleaning up most events in which he chose to take part. When other players claimed wins or title sit was often because Phil was not in the event, or had been defeated by someone else, Mark was an exception to this. The Pro Tour win, from March 28th 2008, featured a superb 6-4 final win over The Power. He went on to a very successful year claiming a total of four Pro Tour events in a ‘Powerful era’.

Walsh has been a major finalist, reached the later stages of most PDC majors, and battled back from dartitis to (again) reach the top of his profession. ‘Special Brew’ indeed.

This Week’s Birthday:

Jeffrey De Zwann is turns 24 this week. The ‘Black Cobra’ seems to have been around a lot longer than he age would imply. But, then again, he did win a World Youth Championship as far back as 2012.

Happy Birthday to The Black Cobra – Jeffrey de Zwaan – How old is the Unicorn thrower? Pic: L Lustig PDC

I first recall seeing him play during the 2015 UK Open. He was defeated by Benito van de Pas, but at no time did he look ruffled and played pretty well. De Zwann has gone on to much better things since. The Unicorn man has won titles, within the PDC, at both development and Pro Tour level as well as reaching the Semi Finals of The World Matchplay. He is currently ranked just outside the PDC’s top twenty and will be looking to rise further when ‘hostilities’ resume. Many Happy Returns!


UK Open ‘Ever-Presents’ Reduced To Three.

James Wade, Steve Beaton and Wayne Jones will extend their ever-present records at the Ladbrokes UK Open this weekend.

One of three players who have played every UK Open since 2003.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG JAMES WADE IN ACTION

The trio are the only players to have competed in every UK Open since the tournament was introduced in 2003, with Wade having claimed the title in 2008 and 2011.

Beaton was a semi-finalist in 2004 and enjoyed his best run since by reaching the quarter-finals in Minehead last year, while Jones won through to the last eight in 2003 and 2008.

Adrian Lewis will be playing in his 17th successive UK Open, having made his debut in the 2004 event before taking the title in 2014 following the tournament’s move from Bolton to Minehead.

Ladbrokes UK Open – Preview and Schedule.

The 2020 Ladbrokes UK Open begins on Friday at Butlin’s Minehead Resort, with Nathan Aspinall looking to defend the title he sensationally won 12 months ago.

2019 UK Open (PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG) NATHAN ASPINALL WINS

The unique tournament, played across eight boards simultaneously in the early rounds, will see 160 players competing in the ‘festival of darts’ from March 6-8.

The first round will feature Tour Card Holders 97-127 along with the eight Challenge Tour Qualifiers, nine Development Tour Qualifiers and 16 Rileys Qualifiers.

The opening three rounds will take place in the afternoon session on Friday March 6, with the top 32 entering at the fourth round stage in the evening session.

Friday’s play begins at 1100 GMT on Stages Two to Eight, while the Main Stage action begins at 1200 GMT as Lisa Ashton opens the tournament against Belgium’s Mike De Decker.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG LISA ASHTON IN ACTION

“I think I might be a bit nervous playing in a new venue but I am really looking forward to it,” said Ashton, who became the first woman to win a PDC Tour Card in January, guaranteeing a UK Open spot.

“When I won my Tour Card I hadn’t even thought about being in the UK Open, it took a while to sink in.

“I am enjoying life on the tour, I’m learning all the time because it’s completely different to what I’m used to but everyone has been very welcoming.

“My standard is improving all the time and hopefully this weekend I can show that.

“The last time I was on a PDC stage was at the World Championship two years ago and I loved every minute of that, so it will be great to get back up there in front of the amazing atmosphere.

“Women’s darts is in a great place right now, there’s a lot of interest around us. The support I’ve had has been really overwhelming.”

Ashton will be joined in the first round by Fallon Sherrock, who shot to global fame in December by becoming the first woman to win a match at the PDC World Championship.

Sherrock made history once again in February by becoming the first woman to win a Rileys Qualifier for the UK Open, coming through a field of over 200 players in Wolverhampton.

Her return to PDC action will see her face Northern Ireland’s Kyle McKinstry on the Main Stage in another first round tie.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG : FALLON SHERROCK IN ACTION

“It’s really exciting,” said Sherrock. “It was a hard day in Wolverhampton just to qualify so now I’m there I want to enjoy it because I’ve watched it on TV before and it’s a great event.
 
“It’s going to be another huge experience for me because the UK Open is such a different tournament to the World Championship and the Premier League.
 
“I’m used to events where you play a few games in a day so I’ll just focus on each game as it comes and not look too far ahead, and my focus is on preparing to play Kyle.
 
“I know Kyle from the tour and we’ve been at a lot of events together in the past and he’s a good scorer and a very good player.”

Another pick of the first round ties will see Brisbane Darts Masters winner Damon Heta of Australia take on two-time BDO champion Scott Waites in the battle of new Tour Card Holders.

Stage Two’s matches from the first round include former UK Open runner-up Andy Hamilton against Patrick Lynskey as well as New Zealand’s Cody Harris, Hong Kong’s Kai Fan Leung and Czech debutant Karel Sedlacek bringing an international flavour to the event.

The Silencer has started 2020 very impressively. Can he keep it up at the UK Open?

The first round winners will be joined by Tour Card Holders 65-96 in round two, as former BDO number one Mark McGeeney faces Scott Baker and Canadian ace Jeff Smith plays Greece’s John Michael in the Main Stage games.

Friday’s opening session will also see round three take place, featuring the winners from round two along with Tour Card Holders 33-64, as World Youth Champion Luke Humphries faces Australian number two Kyle Anderson in a tasty tie on the Main Stage.

The third round will also see 2012 UK Open champion Robert Thornton face Kim Huybrechts on the Main Stage, while Ireland’s World Cup finalist William O’Connor plays Jan Dekker on Stage Two.

At the conclusion of the third round, an open draw will be made live on the Main Stage for round four.

The world’s top 32 come into the event in Friday evening’s fourth round, including defending champion Aspinall, world number one Michael van Gerwen and former UK Open champions Peter Wright, Gary Anderson Adrian Lewis and James Wade.

The Adonis maintains his record of playing every UK Open since 2003.

Wade is joined by Steve Beaton and Wayne Jones as the only three players to have played in every staging of the UK Open since its inception in 2003.

Aspinall embarked on a fairytale run to the title last year, defeating Rob Cross in the final to claim his first PDC televised title.

The 28-year-old has since gone on to establish himself amongst the world’s elite, earning a Premier League place having won the US Darts Masters and reached the semi-finals of the World Championship for a second successive year.

“Winning the UK Open last year is something that will stay with me forever,” said Aspinall.

“The feeling when the match-winning 170 went in is a magical moment that I get goosebumps just thinking about.

“Winning that title was the start of establishing myself among the world’s elite.

“It gave me the belief that I could beat anyone and win anything, and that confidence has made me the player I am today.

“But I’m always looking forward, rather than back, and I’m targeting a good run this weekend.”

The action continues on Saturday March 7 with the fifth and sixth rounds across two sessions, before Sunday’s closing stages are played out on the Main Stage.

The draw for the fifth and sixth rounds will be conducted on the Main Stage at the conclusion of the fourth round, once again with the UK Open’s unique open draw format in place.

Players will compete for a £100,000 top prize, with a total prize fund of £450,000 on offer being paid down to the last 96.

Action from the Main Stage will be broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK, through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.

Play on Stage Two on Friday and Saturday will be broadcast live on PDCTV for all PDCTV Subscribers worldwide.

2020 Ladbrokes UK Open
Friday March 6
Afternoon Session (1100 GMT Start, 1200 GMT on Main Stage)
First, Second & Third Rounds 
Main Stage
Mike De Decker v Lisa Ashton (R1)
Damon Heta v Scott Waites (R1)
Kyle McKinstry v Fallon Sherrock (R1)
Scott Baker v Mark McGeeney (R2)
Jeff Smith v John Michael (R2)
David Pallett v Doets/Thompson (R2)
Heaver/Noguera v McKinstry/Sherrock (R2)
Luke Humphries v Kyle Anderson (R3)
Kim Huybrechts v Robert Thornton (R3)
Josh Payne v Luke Woodhouse (R3)

Stage Two
Cody Harris v Scott Taylor (R1)
Kai Fan Leung v Kelvin Self (R1)
Adam Hunt v Karel Sedlacek (R1)
Keane Barry v Alan Tabern (R1)
Andy Hamilton v Patrick Lynskey (R1)
Marko Kantele v Dirk van Duijvenbode (R2)
Heta/Waites v Geert Nentjes (R2)
Larsson/Meikle v De Decker/Ashton (R2)
Menzies/Brooks v Nick Kenny (R2)
Ryan Searle v Cristo Reyes (R3)
William O’Connor v Jan Dekker (R3)
Vincent van der Voort v Smith/Michael (R3)
Koltsov/Van Trijp/Davidson/Borland v Larsson/Meikle/De Decker/Ashton (R3)

Stage Three
Steffen Siepmann v Krzysztof Kciuk (R1)
Peter Jacques v Ciaran Teehan (R1)
Michael Barnard v Steve Brown (R1)
Daniel Larsson v Ryan Meikle (R1)
Harry Ward v Gavin Carlin (R2)
Kirk Shepherd v Leung/Self (R2)
Hunt/Sedlacek v Barrie Bates (R2)
Hayden/J Clark v Richardson/Penhall (R2)
Ron Meulenkamp v Richard North (R3)
Jones/Blades/Whitehead v Steve West (R3)
Devon Petersen v Menzies/Brooks/Kenny (R3)
Justin Smith/Jenkins/Beeney/Harms v Atkins/Murray/Bunse (R3)
Huckvale/Burton/Van der Meer v Heaver/Noguera/McKinstry/Sherrock (R3)

Stage Four
Jason Askew v Greg Ritchie (R1)
Jason Heaver v Jesus Noguera (R1)
Adam Smith-Neale v Ben Cheeseman (R1)
Darren Beveridge v Nathan Rafferty (R1)
Andy Boulton v Reece Robinson (R2)
Nathan Derry v Maik Kuivenhoven (R2)
Justin Smith/Jenkins v Beeney/Harms (R2)
Telnekes/Kleermaker v Madars Razma (R2)
Jamie Lewis v Ross Smith (R3)
Evetts/Van Peer/Roelofs v James Wilson (R3)
Steve Lennon v Barnard/Brown/Barry/Tabern (R3)
Mickey Mansell v Zonneveld/Hamilton/Lynskey (R3)

Stage Five
Adam Huckvale v Stephen Burton (R1)
Rhys Hayden v James Clark (R1)
Cameron Menzies v Bradley Brooks (R1)
Kevin Burness v Harald Leitinger (R1)
Jonathan Worsley v Matt Clark (R2)
Carl Wilkinson v Siepmann/Kciuk (R2)
Ted Evetts v Van Peer/Roelofs (R2)
Barnard/Brown v Barry/Tabern (R2)
Justin Pipe v Shepherd/Leung/Self (R3)
Ryan Joyce v Jacques/Teehan/Meeuwisse (R3)
Jose De Sousa v Williams/Owen/Gray (R3)
Van Duivenbode/Beveridge/Rafferty v Jamie Hughes (R3)

Stage Six
Aaron Beeney v Wesley Harms (R1)
Boris Koltsov v Danny van Trijp (R1)
Andrew Davidson v William Borland (R1)
Lewis Williams v Robert Owen (R1)
Harris/Taylor v Jason Lowe (R2)
Atkins/Murray v Christian Bunse (R2)
Mike van Duivenbode v Beveridge/Rafferty (R2)
Niels Zonneveld v Hamilton/Lynskey (R2)
Derry/Kuivenhoven v Gabriel Clemens (R3)
Darius Labanauskas v Kantele/Van Duijvenbode (R3)
Hayden/J Clark/Richardson/Penhall v Toni Alcinas (R3)
Matthew Edgar v Smith-Neale/Cheeseman/McGuirk/Rydz (R3)

Stage Seven
Martin Atkins v Ryan Murray (R1)
Shane McGuirk v Callan Rydz (R1)
Wayne Jones v Gary Blades (R1)
Berry van Peer v Owen Roelofs (R1)
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Askew/Ritchie (R2)
Jacques/Teehan v Yordi Meeuwisse (R2)
Williams/Owen v Adrian Gray (R2)
Burness/Leitinger v Joe Murnan (R2)
Martin Schindler v Benito van de Pas (R3)
Baker/McGeeney v Boulton/Robinson (R3)
Worsley/M Clark v Harris/Taylor/Lowe (R3)
Telnekes/Kleermaker/Razma v Heta/Waites/Nentjes (R3)

Stage Eight
Justin Smith v Andy Jenkins (R1)
Derk Telnekes v Martijn Kleermaker (R1)
James Richardson v Darren Penhall (R1)
Kevin Doets v Alfie Thompson (R1)
Huckvale/Burton v Vincent van der Meer (R2)
Jones/Blades v Conan Whitehead (R2)
Koltsov/Van Trijp v Davidson/Borland (R2)
Smith-Neale/Cheeseman v McGuirk/Rydz (R2)
Jelle Klaasen v Rodriguez/Askew/Ritchie (R3)
Ward/Carlin v Wilkinson/Siepmann/Kciuk (R3)
Pallett/Doets/Thompson v Simon Stevenson (R3)
Hunt/Sedlacek/Bates v Burness/Leitinger/Murnan (R3)

Schedule of Play
Friday March 6
Afternoon Session (1100 GMT start – 1200 GMT start on Main Stage)
First, Second & Third Rounds
Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Eight

Evening Session (1900 GMT start)
Fourth Round
Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Eight

Saturday March 7 
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT start)
Fifth Round
Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Four

Evening Session (1900 GMT start)
Sixth Round
Main Stage & Stage Two

Sunday March 8
Afternoon Session (1245 GMT start)
Quarter-Finals
Main Stage

Evening Session (1900 GMT start)
Semi-Finals & Final
Main Stage

Format
First, Second & Third Rounds – Best of 11 legs
Fourth, Fifth & Sixth Rounds & Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals & Final – Best of 21 legs

Prize Fund
Winner – £100,000
Runner-Up – £40,000
Semi-Finalists – £20,000
Quarter-Finalists – £12,500
Sixth Round Losers – £7,500
Fifth Round Losers – £4,000
Fourth Round Losers – £2,000
Third Round Losers – £1,000
Total – £450,000

​ENDS

Home Players Thrive In Belgian Open!

Brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts enjoyed home wins as the 2020 European Tour season got underway on Friday with the first round of the Belgian Darts Championship.

The Brothers Huybrechts are both through after day 1. Pic: PDC

The £140,000 tournament at Expo Hasselt opened with wins for four Belgian hopefuls, as the Huybrechts brothers were joined in the last 32 by Dimitri Van den Bergh and Mike De Decker.

Former World Cup finalist Kim Huybrechts enjoyed a 6-2 win over Ryan Harrington to begin his bid for a third European Tour title.

The Antwerp thrower led 3-0 before Harrington hit back to 3-2, but he crucially missed four darts to level in leg six as Huybrechts capitalised on the let-off to close out victory, setting up a second round tie with Jeffrey de Zwaan.

Elder brother Ronny was in clinical form as he landed six doubles from nine attempts in a big 6-1 win over World Youth Champion Luke Humphries, and he now plays Michael Smith.

DVB completes a Belgian foursome heading further into the Belgian Open. Pic: PDC

Two-time World Youth Champion Van den Bergh picked up a 6-3 win over Derk Telnekes, creating a second round meeting with 2019 Czech Darts Open champion Jamie Hughes.

Youngster De Decker, meanwhile, was a narrow 6-5 winner over Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp, setting up a tasty tie with world number one Michael van Gerwen on Saturday.

There was disappointment, though for Geert De Vos as the qualifier went down 6-2 to Danny Noppert, while Steve West whitewashed newcomer Jeffrey van Edgom 6-0.

2019 Brisbane Darts Masters champion Damon Heta enjoyed a superb European Tour debut with a 6-0 whitewash of Michael Barnard, averaging an impressive 102.48 in the win.

Dirk van Duijvenbode also posted a ton-plus average, seeing off Luke Woodhouse 6-4 with six doubles from ten attempts and a 101.59 average in moving through to meet number two seed Ian White.

Germany’s Gabriel Clemens now plays Krzysztof Ratajski – the winner of last year’s final European Tour event in Gibraltar – in round two after defeating Callan Rydz 6-3.

Steve Lennon defied finishes of 151 an 124 from Rowby-John Rodriguez as he came from 3-2 down to win 6-3 and progress to a second round tie with James Wade.

Mervyn King was a 6-4 winner over Justin Pipe in a clash of former European Tour event winners, securing a meeting with Glen Durrant on Saturday.

Dutch debutant Martijn Kleermaker survived a fightback from 5-1 down by Stephen Bunting before claiming a 6-4 win in his first European Tour appearance, and he now plays Joe Cullen in round two.

Wesley Plaisier was another Dutchman to progress, edging out Slovenia’s Benjamin Pratnemer 6-5 in a tight contest to earn a meeting with world number three Gerwyn Price.

Recent Players Championship winner Ryan Searle was too strong for debutant Darren Penhall with a 6-3 success, setting up a second round tie with Mensur Suljovic.

Steve Beaton now plays Nathan Aspinall in round two after seeing off Hong Kong’s Kai Fan Leung 6-4, while Andy Hamilton made a winning return to the European Tour stage with a 6-5 defeat of Andy Boulton, moving himself through to a meeting with World Champion Peter Wright.

Saturday’s second round will be followed on Sunday by the final day of action as the £140,000 tournament culminates. For tickets, visit www.pdc-europe.tv or purchase at Expo Hasselt.

Coverage of the Belgian Darts Championship is available for all PDCTV Subscribers worldwide, as well as through a series of bookmakers’ websites.

2020 Belgian Darts Championship

Friday February 28

  • First Round
  • Afternoon Session
  • Ryan Searle 6-3 Darren Penhall
  • Andy Hamilton 6-5 Andy Boulton
  • Steve Beaton 6-4 Kai Fan Leung
  • Ronny Huybrechts 6-1 Luke Humphries
  • Damon Heta 6-0 Michael Barnard
  • Wesley Plaisier 6-5 Benjamin Pratnemer
  • Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Stephen Bunting
  • Mervyn King 6-4 Justin Pipe
  • Evening Session
  • Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
  • Mike De Decker 6-4 Ron Meulenkamp
  • Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Callan Rydz
  • Danny Noppert 6-2 Geert De Vos
  • Kim Huybrechts 6-2 Ryan Harrington
  • Steve Lennon 6-3 Rowby-John Rodriguez
  • Steve West 6-0 Jeffrey van Egdom
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Derk Telnekes

Saturday February 29

  • Second Round
  • Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT)
  • Michael Smith v Ronny Huybrechts
  • Joe Cullen v Martijn Kleermaker
  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Gabriel Clemens
  • Glen Durrant v Mervyn King
  • Rob Cross v Damon Heta
  • Ian White v Dirk van Duijvenbode
  • Jermaine Wattimena v Danny Noppert
  • James Wade v Steve Lennon
  • Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 GMT)
  • Nathan Aspinall v Steve Beaton
  • Gerwyn Price v Wesley Plaisier
  • Peter Wright v Andy Hamilton
  • Michael van Gerwen v Mike De Decker
  • Jeffrey de Zwaan v Kim Huybrechts
  • Jamie Hughes v Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Mensur Suljovic v Ryan Searle
  • Jonny Clayton v Steve West

ENDS

Player’s Championship 2020 (1) – Full Report & Results.

Gary Anderson claimed the first PDC ranking title of 2020 with victory at Player’s Championship 1 in Barnsley on Saturday.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG : GARY ANDERSON IN ACTION

Anderson defeated Canada’s Jeff Smith 8-4 in the final to get his 2020 campaign off to a perfect start following an injury-ravaged 2019.

The two-time World Champion was in fine form all day, hitting four ton-plus averages, including a 107.5 against Christian Bunse in the first round.

After a win over Simon Whitlock, a 104.4 average saw Anderson defeat rival Gerwyn Price for the second time in a week, which he followed up with a 106.1 to overcome Rob Cross and reach the quarter-finals.

There, the Scottish World Cup winner beat Joe Cullen 6-2 before averaging 102.2 to claim a 7-3 win over Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals.

The final saw Anderson race into a 6-2 lead before Smith, who was competing in his first Players Championship event since 2013, fought back to trail 6-4.

However, two-time World Champion Anderson was not to be denied and he went on to pick up his first PDC ranking title since the 2018 World Matchplay.

“It’s been a while since I won something, but I’ve got the hunger back,” Anderson revealed.

“I want to get back to how I was throwing before [injury], I don’t mind if I win or lose, but as long as I throw them how I used to then I’ll be alright.

“I still have work to do, but it’s not a bad start.”

The first of 30 Players Championship events in 2020 saw two nine-dart finishes hit, both in the first round, by Northern Ireland’s Mickey Mansell and Dutchman Mike van Duivenbode.

The day was also a significant one for another Dutch youngster, Maik Kuivenhoven, who reached his first PDC ranking quarter-final.

Sunday will see the second day of the ProTour double-header take place, with live streaming on PDCTV.

See full Players Championship 1 results in the Match Centre.

Players Championship 1
Saturday February 8
Last 16

Brendan Dolan 6-5 Ross Smith
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Steve Brown
Peter Wright 6-3 Conan Whitehead
Jeff Smith 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Darren Webster
Steve Beaton 6-1 Mickey Mansell
Gary Anderson 6-2 Rob Cross
Joe Cullen 6-1 Nick Kenny

Quarter-Finals
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven
Jeff Smith 6-5 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Steve Beaton
Gary Anderson 6-2 Joe Cullen

Semi-Finals
Jeff Smith 7-2 Brendan Dolan
Gary Anderson 7-3 Adrian Lewis

Final
Gary Anderson 8-4 Jeff Smith

ENDS