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
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:
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!