Challenge Tour 2019 Completed – Rydz Reigns!

Callan Rydz secured top spot on the 2019 PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour Order of Merit despite wins for Kyle McKinstry and Mark Barilli on the final day of the season.

Newcastle youngster Rydz, who won two events during the year, secured top spot by reaching the Event 19 semi-finals on Sunday.

He will now progress to compete in the 2019/2020 William Hill World Darts Championship, and also secures a PDC Tour Card for 2020/2021 as a result of his success.

His bid for a seasonal treble was ended with a 5-1 defeat to Jason Cullen – who averaged 102.2 in a superb display – in the last four of Event 19, before the Irish ace went down by the same scoreline in the final to McKinstry.

Northern Ireland’s McKinstry also defeated two 2019 Challenge Tour event winners, Shaun Carroll and Darren Beveridge, during the event, and failed to be taken to a deciding ninth leg in any of his eight matches.

Event 20 saw the year’s tournaments conclude with a first Challenge Tour victory for Scotland’s Barilli, who overcame Saturday’s Event 17 winner Ciaran Teehan 5-3 in the final.

He also overcame McKinstry in the last 64, and also proved too strong for Ian Lever, Robbie Collins, John Davey and David Evans on his way to the £2,000 title.

The final Challenge Tour Order of Merit saw Rydz collect £6,750 during the year, ahead of Jesus Noguera (£6,050), as the Spanish player also collects a two-year PDC Tour Card.

Cameron Menzies (£5,800), Stephen Burton (£5,500) and Boris Koltsov (£5,400) completed the top five, ahead of Andy Jenkins, Cody Harris and McKinstry, with Berry van Peer and Patrick Lynskey completing the top ten.

A superb season’s end almost saw Nick Fullwell crash into the top ten. The Stourbridge man has been performing well, in all formats, recently and again reached the later stages in events 19 & 20. His total of £3800 has almost all been won since winning event 10. Had Fullwell hit the gas earlier he could well have been in contention for the top prizes!

All in all the order of merit for 2019 features the usual mix of fearless youngsters, experienced older hands and a smattering of those who could be returning to former glory.

Looking over the top 64 some stand out names include; Andy Jenkins who surprised many with his excellent performance overall. Berry Van Peer who gains the underdog support due to his struggles with dartitis. Nick Fullwell is seemingly making rapid progress and others such as Mark Walsh, Wes Newton and Colin Osborne are beginning to get noticed again.

1Callan Rydz£6,750
2Jesus Noguera£6,050
3Cameron Menzies£5,800
4Stephen Burton£5,500
5Boris Koltsov£5,400
6Andy Jenkins£4,800
7Cody Harris£4,750
8Kyle McKinstry£4,700
9Berry van Peer£4,350
10Patrick Lynskey£4,100
11Nick Fullwell£3,800
12Ritchie Edhouse£3,800
13Nathan Rafferty£3,400
14David Evans£3,250
15Andrew Gilding£3,100
16Ciaran Teehan£3,050
17Mark Barilli£2,900
18Darren Beveridge£2,900
19Scott Taylor£2,700
20Shaun Carroll£2,550
21Dave Prins£2,500
22Kevin Garcia£2,200
23Justin Smith£2,000
24Wessel Nijman£2,000
25Dennis Nilsson£1,850
26Jason Cullen£1,800
27Mark Walsh£1,750
28Matthew Dennant£1,650
29Arjan Konterman£1,650
30Rusty-Jake Rodriguez£1,550
31Adam Huckvale£1,500
32Darren Johnson£1,450
33David Ladley£1,450
34Jason Askew£1,450
35Christopher Bent£1,400
36Jason Wilson£1,400
37Shane McGuirk£1,350
38Wes Newton£1,350
39Mareno Michels£1,350
40Patrick van den Boogaard£1,350
41Martin Atkins (Wigan)£1,300
42John Bowles£1,250
43Eddie Lovely£1,250
44Curtis Hammond£1,250
45Diogo Portela£1,250
46Steve Hine£1,250
47Rhys Griffin£1,200
48Andy Chalmers£1,200
49Paul Rowley£1,200
50William Borland£1,150
51Danny van Trijp£1,150
52Mick Todd£1,150
53Aden Kirk£1,100
54Barry Lynn£1,100
55Colin Osborne£1,050
56Erik Hol£950
57Lukasz Sawicki£950
58Dafydd Edwards£950
59Peter Mitchell£950
60Mark Frost£950
61Robert Collins£900
62Gary Blades£900
63Stuart Kellett£900
64Daniel Ayres£850

In many ways today’s Challenge Tour resembles the pro tour of 10-15 years ago. The weekends are tough, and the events days long, but there is still some mixture of performance level. This can give many players the chance to win games and or money.

The standard and dedication to the Challenge Tour has been increasing year on year and it may prove a much more regular springboard to the elite level in future.

DartsWorld looks forward to increased coverage of this entertaining, underestimated and highly skilled PDC Tour.


Main Article – Official PDC

Italicised Editorial – DartsWorld

Harrington & Jones Pick Up Pdc Unicorn Challenge Tour Wins

The Unicorn Challenge Tour – Weekend 2. Beveridge and Menzies Claim Opening Events

The PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour is underway again this weekend. Saturday featured Event Five and Event Six in Wigan. Darren Beveridge finally defeated Callan Rydz after a superb final. Beveridge was 3-1 up when Rydz hit a supreme scoring spell. Winning three of the next four legs, to level at 4-4 Rydz had upped his average to over 105. Each player hit multiple 180’s as they attempted to claim the title. Darren was not for fading and ensured a 5-4 win with a 14 dart leg on his own throw.

The year’s second Challenge Tour weekend saw four £10,000 tournaments played for PDPA Associate Members across Saturday and Sunday.

The Qtr Final Stage witnessed Callan Rydz, Berry Van Peer, Dennis Nilsson and Andy Jenkins all still trying to join Darren Beveridge and Andy Chalmers in the Semi-Final line-up.

Rydz, Beveridge, Barry Lynn and Kyle McKinstry, all recorded 100+ averages in another high-quality day’s play. Former major finalists Wez Newton & Mark Walsh had decent starts before falling in the middle rounds.

Event 6 – Summary.

Event 6 will commenced almost immediately and proved a triumph for Scotland’s Cameron Menzies. The Unicorn player seemed to do just enough in the early stages, before stepping up his game in the later rounds. HIs last four opponents were all experienced and in-form players. Menzies averaged over 90 in all of them and did not drop more than two legs in the four matches.

Berry Van Peer again performed well to reach the Qtr-Final stages. Andy Jenkins continued his solid form to reach the same stage. Boris Koltsov and Andy Gilding added to their recent accounts, reaching the same stage. Danny Van Trijp enjoyed a fine run also. Francis Carragher demonstrated that his form crosses codes and conditions with a very strong run, also reaching the Qtrs.

Scott Waites showed signs of beginning to adapt to the Challenge Tour during event 6. His 5-0 whitewash of Nathan Rafferty was achieved whilst averaging over 100.

Overall though, Menzies stood out in this event. He has been in very good shape during 2019, without generating many headlines. This may be the event that changes that.

Events 7 & 8 took place on Sunday 12th of May and will be summarised in Talking Points soon.

Welsh Open Weekend Under Way.

The 2019 Welsh Open Weekend is underway at Pontins Prestatyn Sands. The Red Dragon sponsored, main events kicked off earlier today. Over the weekend, Men’s, Ladies & Pairs events will be held. Almost 700 hundred entries have been taken for the men’s event, while 200 players will compete in the women’s singles. The Welsh Classic is underway today with several big names through to the last 32.

Richard Veenstra, Gary Welding and Gary Robson have won through their groups in relative comfort. Masters Champion Adam Smith-Neale is also through. Welsh veteran Martin Phillips got his weekend off to a winning start defeating David Fitzgerald and Chris Harrison. Dave Parletti also made the last 32 stages comfortably. Northern Ireland’s Francis Carragher & Welshman Dean Reynolds joined them. In a battle of Welsh stars, Nick Kenny was pipped 4-3 by Tim Jones.

Warrior, Wez Newton returned to form with three quick wins, dropping no more than a single leg in any game. Young David Evans is beginning to show his true ability at a higher level. After a battling win against Ryan Hogarth, in the last 256, he picked up his game. David reached the last 32 for the loss of only one more leg.

Among the legends entered this weekend is Tony O Shea. Silverback is also through the early stages of the Classic event. Former World Champion Scott Mitchell and Gary Robson also got their weekends off to a decent start.

Former PDC World Finalist Andy Hamilton looks to return to his best after a tough few months. Matt Padgett could be a player to watch, he has shown very good form in Open events recently and seems to be getting more and more used to BDO/WDF events.

One player not to be underestimated could be John Roberts. He is also through to the later stages and can be very effective on busy days.

The Welsh Open pairs Events, both Men’s and Ladies will kick off around 6pm this evening.

The Welsh Open itself will take place on Sunday the 12th May.

LIGHTS, CAMERA - BUT NO ACTION

Lights, Camera – But no action

LIGHTS, CAMERA - BUT NO ACTION
Photo; DG Media/PDC Europe

Five players battle to stop the rot and get back on TV

Every year in darts new stars emerge and old stars pack away their competitive tungsten for good, but 2017 is unique for the possibility of witnessing so many of the veteran PDC darts players – with whom darts fans grew up and have enduring allegiances – fail to qualify for TV events. By no means are the careers of players like Andy Hamilton and Vincent van der Voort ending, but they may be entering into a phase of their competitive life that involves fewer triumphant entrances onto televised stages and more grinding in the typical PDC floor venues of Wigan and Barnsley. The following five players, absent remarkable returns to form, are very much in danger of disappearing from the televised stage. The darts world will be saddened if they do; but there are dozens of young players currently making their mark on tour that would be all too pleased to bring the veterans’ years-long runs in major tournaments to an end.

WES NEWTON

Wes Newton played one of his most recent televised matches in December 2015, when he described a 1st round victory over Cristo Reyes at the 2016 World Championship as his “worst ever performance”, in which he won the first set of the match with a 67 average. His open and honest approach to his lapse of form has won him countless new fans, but since then he has not reached the quarterfinal of any tournament he has entered, causing him to fall from the 26th ranked player in the world to number 64 today, placing him on the brink of losing his tour card for the 2018 season. Recovery from a shoulder injury has proven difficult for the Warrior. Newton has accumulated only £2,250 in the first 16 ranking events held in 2017 and he intimated on Twitter last month that Unicorn had discontinued his sponsorship. Newton’s tour card guarantees him entry to the remaining 10 Players Championships and 7 European Tour UK qualifiers, so it is possible that with deep runs in a few tournaments Newton could qualify for the Players Championship Finals or stabilize his Order of Merit rank and mount a comeback from there. If Newton is forced to win back his tour card, he would certainly be a favorite to do so at the 2018 Q School.

ANDY HAMILTON

The Hammer described failing to qualify for the 2017 World Championship – which ended a 12-year run of appearances at that event – as “a new low point” in his career. Currently ranked 54th in the PDC, Andy Hamilton is likely to retain his tour card as he is defending very little in the way of earnings from the second half of 2015. But that is unlikely to satisfy the tenacious Stoke native, a World Championship finalist as little as five years ago, Hamilton’s form hinted at a comeback in the second weekend of last April, in which he beat three top-64 players (Wes Newton, Jamie Lewis, Ronny Huybrechts) and qualified himself for the German Open. A last-16 finish at a Players Championship has put him within a few hundred pounds of the pace to qualify for the Players Championship Finals, but other televised tournaments have fallen out of reach for him this year. Hamilton’s unique throwing action looks increasingly outmoded in a PDC stocked with technically proficient young players, but it has worked marvelously for the three-time ranking title winner in the past and he has given no indication of giving up the fight.

VINCENT VAN DER VOORT

A weary Vincent van der Voort confessed to Dan Dawson after losing to Max Hopp in the 2017 World Championship that persistent pain from a back injury was threatening to bring his darts career to a close, much to the dismay of darts fans for whom his quick throwing style and wildly popular walk-on music have been major attractions to the game. Whether back pain continues to try Vincent’s endurance in May is an open question, as Vincent has not elaborated on his hint at an impending retirement. Within three months of that interview, however, the Dutch Destroyer smashed his way through to the fifth round of the UK Open, taking out a 106 finish in a deciding leg to dump out fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen. van der Voort, however, is defending substantially more money earned in 2015 than he is earning this year, and has fallen to 27th in the Order of Merit. If Fast Vinny fancies another go on the Ally Pally stage, he will have to fight hard for it, as he has not advanced beyond the second round of a Players Championship event this year and is well behind schedule on earnings to qualify for the World Matchplay or the World Grand Prix.

JAMIE CAVEN

The world number 32, Jamie Caven, has clung on to his top-32 position gamely for months thanks to appearances in Blackpool and Dublin, but he will find further defense of his ranking difficult in light of the recent successes of Steve West, John Henderson and Christian Kist on and off the European Tour. Caven is not matching his successes on the 2015 European Tour with corresponding exploits on the 2017 circuit, and disappointed himself with a first round loss to Kevin Painter at Ally Pally in December. Without an appearance on the Euro Tour thus far, Caven nonetheless put forth an encouraging finish at the third Players Championship, in which he whitewashed James Wilson and secured a £1500 prize. Of any player in danger of falling under the radar of televised darts, Caven is probably most secure in his current position, as his mediocre 2015 campaign leaves him reasonable targets to meet as he defends earnings from two years ago. A 6-5 loss to Matt Clark in a deciding qualifier match for Sindelfingen suggests that Caven is close to breaking through for a good result; but the dropped last-leg decider nevertheless netted him not a single penny.

BRENDAN DOLAN

A recent glance at the list of Dolan’s 2017 ranking cashes revealed an astonishing fact – that Brendan Dolan, a mainstay of televised darts and a legendary History Maker for his throwing of the first-ever double-start perfect leg, could miss the majority of major tournaments this year. Dolan was seeded throughout his 2015 European Tour campaign, which guaranteed him a four-figure cash for every appearance he made, but this year the Ulsterman has not appeared at any European Tour event, having lost to Darren Webster and Steve Beaton in matches that would have qualified him for an outing in Germany. A mere £3,500 of ranking money earned in the Players Championships puts him nearly out of the race for Blackpool and Dublin – a great shock for a player who had acquitted himself so well at Ally Pally just months ago. Dolan is ranked 26th in the PDC – comfortably within the top 32 for the time being – but he must turn his game around quickly if he wants to stay in that position.