A look back at darting landmarks which took place between the 26th January & February the 2nd……
23 Years Ago:
Mervyn King secured his first top class event with victory, lifting the crown at the Dutch Open. King, still ranked 21 in the world, took another seven years before claiming his first ‘Major’ title (2004 World Masters). King is yet to claim a PDC major although the International Darts League (King won in 2005) was a joint event. This years Dutch Open takes place this coming weekend with new BDO World Champion Wayne Warren looking to claim more silverware.
10 Years Ago:
Paul Nicholson claimed the Players Championship Finals: In what was probably ‘The Asset’s finest hour he defeated Merv King 13-11 in the final. His defeat of Phil Taylor in the semi final was a huge moment. Winning a dramtic last leg seemed to mark the emergence of Paul as a true threat to the biggest names. Sadly, it also lead to the much hyped “……he better bring his A-Game, cause I’m gonna put him to bed….” narrative of which there was only going to be one winner.
5 Years Ago:
Jeff Smith (who returned to the PDC Pro Tour this month via Q School) took the Las Vegas Open, defeating Darin Young in the title match. ‘The Silencer’ had threatened to break through previously but this win marked a transition for Jeff. Within twelve months the likeable Canadian would reach the last four of the BDO world Championships. he went one better the next year, losing out to Scott Mitchell in the final, and cemented a place at Darts’ top table. Jeff’s World Cup (Singles) Title in 2017 was probably the high-point of his, late starting but, eventful career so far.
The darts calendar gets fuller every year, this year the Iceland International Games even featured a January darts event. The Dutch Open is up coming and together with the Romanian and Las Vegas Opens may provide future year’s landmarks. Will the PDC’s annual curtain raiser ‘The Masters’ provide ‘tales of darting do’ in future years, the 2020 will feature the first event played by Peter Wright as World Champion!