This Week – Bob’s Unique Triumph and The Pro Tour Evolves.

Our regular ‘This Week’ review features a unique event and some stages posts on the PDC’s journey to its current impressive position. March 30th – April 4th has had some superb moments over the years:

30 Years Ago: World Champions Challenge

Imagine an event where every living/active World Champion met in a special one off tournament. Today’s would include Taylor, Lowe, Priestley, Barney, Adams, Part, Hankey and many more.

The (1990) World Champions Challenge was a unique event. All seven WDF/BDO World Champions appeared, six played the first round with Eric Bristow gaining a semi final place via a bye. Kieth Deller narrowly defeated Jockey Wilson, Bob Anderson removed Leighton Rees and Phil Taylor was crushed by John Lowe.

The semis saw Eric defeat Keith, a modicum of revenge for 1983?, and Anderson move past Lowe and into the final. The Limestone Cowboy claimed the crown in fine style, besting Eric by three sets to one, to become the first and Champion of World Champions!

Although the event was staged again the following year, with Priestly being added as the new and eighth World Champ,it did not have the same feel or format. Players such as Mike Gregory, Dave Whitcomb and Peter Evison were added despite not being World Champions.

Bob Anderson therefor lays claim to a truly unique notch on his ‘gunbelt’.

12 Years Ago: Taylor Bags Six of The Best

Phil Taylor

The PDC Pro Tour, as we now know it, was beggining to take firm shape. Every month featured Players Championships, UK Open qualifiers or TV and other events. This week saw Phil Taylor in the middle of a run of six Pro Tour events in a row.The last of these was the Midlands Final of the UK Open qualifiers. The Power was utterly dominant whitewashing Brendan Dolan(8-0) in the final. For good measure, Taylor then claimed the, non ranked, London Masters to make it seven PDC events on the bounce.

4 Years Ago: Development Tour Flexes It’s Muscles

Four Development Tour events were claimed, by four different players, over this weekend, four years ago:

Steve Lennon (Photo: Lawrence Lustig)

Adam Hunt, who has long been known to have superb potential and recently reclaimed his PDC Pro Tour Card, Josh Payne who has already achieved much in top level darts including senior Pro Tour titles and a UK Open qtr-final place, Steve Lennon has also claimed other PDC titles as well as reaching the Quarters of a PDC major. In addition, Steve reached the final of the World Cup with Willie O’Conner. Callum Loose is the fourth member of this impressive group. Though is yet to match the others in terms of measurably achievement, it’s not too late and many report that Callum is just as talented.

It is no surprise to see the level of talent out there. The structure built, by the PDC, over the last decade enables more of it to be developed, and showcased, and later to earn a very good living from “chucking sharp things at a round thing” as some would call it!


Willie’s Run Powers Ireland To World Cup Final.

Irishman Willie O’Connor has had a splendid couple of months. From claiming his first PDC ranking title through to a place in the BetVictor World Cup of Darts. http://winmau.com summarised his stellar weekend as follows;

winmau.com

William O’Connor stunned the World with a display of darting excellence en route to powering the Republic of Ireland into Sunday’s World Cup of Darts final in Hamburg.

The Republic of Ireland were eventually defeated in the final 3-1, but after clocking up shock wins over England, Austria and the Netherlands, the duo claimed the hearts of the darting World.

Willie, a Winmau player for over 5 years has often shown glimpses of his deep natural talent, as we saw in his recent debut PDC ranking title win at Players Championship 13.

O’Connor shocked Rob Cross in the second round of the tournament and was threating to break the record PDC televised average. In the end, the Irishman had to settle for a magnificent 115 average, as the shell-shocked Rob Cross posted a valiant 109 average.

Willie said, “It’s a dream come true for me to represent the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup of Darts, let alone getting to the final and I’m so privileged to have played with such a fantastic partner in Steve Lennon. It’s a week that we’ll never forget”.

World Cup of Darts Results

Semi-Finals

Scotland 2-0 Japan

Singles One: Gary Anderson 4-2 Seigo Asada

Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-1 Haruki Muramatsu

Doubles: (Not Needed)

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Netherlands

Singles One: Steve Lennon 3-4 Michael van Gerwen

Singles Two: William O’Connor 4-1 Jermaine Wattimena

Doubles: Republic of Ireland 4-0 Netherlands

Final

Scotland 3-1 Republic of Ireland

Singles One: Gary Anderson 2-4 Steve Lennon

Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-2 William O’Connor

Doubles: Scotland 4-0 Republic of Ireland

Singles Three: Peter Wright 4-1 Steve Lennon

BetVictor World Cup – Saturday. Irish & Canadian Underdogs Bite Favorites!

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND stunned England with a sensational victory over the number one seeds at the BetVictor World Cup of Darts in Hamburg on Saturday.

William O’Connor averaged over 115 in a breathtaking display to defeat former World Champion Rob Cross after Steve Lennon had edged out Michael Smith.

O’Connor landed four 180s and took out finishes of 88, 70 and a match-winning 64 to seal the shock success over four-time World Cup winners England. 

Emerging Irish Ace, Lennon had earlier given Ireland the advantage by defeating Smith 4-3 before O’Connor’s incredible performance sealed their place in the quarter-finals for the first time. 

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said O’Connor, who won his first PDC title just over a month ago. 

“It just clicked for us tonight. We knew we could beat them but to put in a performance like that against a former World Champion and one of the best players in the world is particularly special for me.

“We are going to take loads of confidence from this. We are enjoying ourselves and we will be dangerous on the final day.” 

“Stefan Strassenberg/PDC Europe

Fifth seeds Australia also suffered an upset as Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson both lost their Singles matches against Canada.

Dawson Murschell and Jim Long both won last-leg deciders to set-up a quarter-final meeting with defending champions Netherlands, who eased past Poland to progress. 

Murschell edged out Whitlock in an eventful encounter, in which the Australian skipper took out back-to-back 126 checkouts on the bull to lead 3-2.

A 180 helped Murschell level up and the 23-year-old put Canada in front by taking out 97 in the deciding leg.

Long then came from 3-1 behind to defeat Anderson, who missed a dart in the last leg to take it to a Doubles decider. 

Michael van Gerwen and Jermaine Wattimena both won their Singles ties to see off the Polish pairing of Krzysztof Ratajski and Tytus Kanik.

Van Gerwen took out a brilliant 123 finish on the bull to win a crucial fifth leg against Ratajski as the world number one went on to win 4-2.

Kanik threatened to put Poland back in the tie when he won the first leg of his match against Wattimena by following a 180 with a clinical 90 checkout.

After Wattimena levelled, Kanik went seven darts into a potential nine-darter in what proved to be a pivotal third leg as he was cruelly punished for a string of missed doubles by the Dutchman who pinned the bull to complete an 88 combination on the way to a 4-1 victory.

“I don’t think either of us performed at one-hundred-percent but we hit the right shots at the right moments,” said van Gerwen.

“We are not afraid of anybody and we are going to beat everybody. We are a great team and everybody knows that.”

Scotland moved safely through to the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday afternoon. 

Gary Anderson set the number two seeds on their way with a 4-0 success over Magnus Caris in the 50-year-old Swede’s final game before he retires from professional darts.

Peter Wright was less comfortable in his win against Dennis Nilsson, but a 4-2 victory wrapped up the tie. 

Scotland will meet Belgium in the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon after Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri Van den Bergh sent hosts Germany crashing out of the tournament.

Huybrechts edged a dramatic encounter against Martin Schindler, who missed four darts to win a nail-biting deciding leg.

Schindler fired in seven perfect darts in the game’s fifth leg, which he won but Belgian captain Huybrechts took the next two to pinch victory.

Germany never recovered as Hopp was beaten 4-0 by Van den Bergh, securing a last eight spot for the Belgian pair. 

“I was expecting Max to play a lot better but I am really pleased we’re through,” said Van den Bergh.

“We don’t think about who we are playing. We just focus on our own games and trust in each other. That’s how we won today and we’ll keep that attitude going forward.” 

Austria made light work of United States of America with a brace of Singles wins to set up a quarter-final clash with the Republic of Ireland.

Zoran Lerchbacher defeated Darin Young 4-1 before Mensur Suljovic produced a sublime display to whitewash Chuck Puleo. 

Former Champions League winner Suljovic completed finishes of 100 and 126 as he averaged 113 in a 4-0 triumph. 

New Zealand reached the quarter-finals for the first time after winning a topsy-turvy affair against South Africa.

Cody Harris claimed a 4-0 victory over Vernon Bouwers to put New Zealand ahead until Devon Petersen hit back with a whitewash win against Haupai Puha.

Petersen averaged almost 102 and took out a brilliant 132 checkout in a high-quality singles match but the South African captain found his team 3-0 down in the doubles decider. 

South Africa rallied back a to win the next two legs but Puha finally landed tops to complete victory. 

New Zealand will face Japan in the last eight after Seigo Asada and Haruki Muramatsu both claimed Singles match victories to progress at the expense of Singapore.

Asada defeated Paul Lim, who led 3-2 after consecutive checkouts of 160 and 72 but Asada won the last two legs to earn the win.

Muramatsu then enjoyed a 4-2 triumph over Harith Lim to seal Japan’s place in the quarter-finals for the second consecutive year. 

The event concludes on Sunday, with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session to be followed by the semi-finals and final in the evening session.

Written by Chris Murphy

2019 BetVictor World Cup of DartsSaturday June 8Second RoundAfternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
New Zealand 2-1 South Africa
Singles One: Cody Harris 4-0 Vernon Bouwers
Singles Two: Haupai Puha 0-4 Devon Petersen 
Doubles: New Zealand 4-2 South Africa

Japan 2-0 Singapore
Singles One: Seigo Asada 4-3 Paul Lim
Singles Two: Haruki Muramatsu 4-2 Harith Lim 

Scotland 2-0 Sweden
Singles One: Gary Anderson 4-0 Magnus Caris
Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-2 Dennis Nilsson 

Belgium 2-0 Germany
Singles One: Kim Huybrechts 4-3 Martin Schindler
Singles Two: Dimitri Van den Bergh 4-0 Max Hopp

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Canada 2-0 Australia
Singles One: Dawson Murschell 4-3 Simon Whitlock
Singles Two: Jim Long 4-3  Kyle Anderson 

Austria 2-0 USA
Singles One: Zoran Lerchbacher 4-1 Darin Young 
Singles Two: Mensur Suljovic 4-0 Chuck Puleo

Republic of Ireland 2-0 England
Singles One: Steve Lennon 4-3 Michael Smith
Singles Two: William O’Connor 4-1 Rob Cross 

Netherlands 2-0 Poland
Singles One: Michael van Gerwen 4-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
Singles Two: Jermaine Wattimena 4-1 Tytus Kanik