Monday, December 10, 2018
BDO Results, 12 to Follow and Quiz Answers
So there is obviously a lot of talk about the PDC and the World Championship, but the BDO is still a massive part of darts and so I would like to take a moment to discuss the most recent tournaments. After all, many many PDC players began in the BDO.
Anyway, on with the review...
Italy recently played host to two recent BDO tournaments. On 24/11/2018 it was the Italian Masters and the next day was the Italian Open.
Winner of the first tournament, was Dutchman, Wesley Harms (pic). He showed well at the recent Grand Slam of Darts and his form has continued. He had to get past a dogged Richard Veenstra in the semi finals, but eventually won 5-4. His opponent in the final was Mario Vandenbogaerde , yet another one of the emerging Belgian players. Vandenbogaerde, overcame former BDO World Champion Scott Mitchell 5-3 to book his place.
Harms went into the final as the favourite and after a tougher battle than many expected, he triumphed 6-4. This made is a hat-trick of wins in the event and will give him a lot of confidence going into the BDO World Championships in January 2019.
On 25/11/2018, it was the Italian Masters tournament. Wesley Harms was again in action, hoping to repeat the day before's success. However, he came up against an in form Martin Adams (pic), who won comfortably 4-1 in the last 16. Also in action was Italian Masters runner-up Mario Vandenbogaerde. He faired better and progressed to the semi final beating Richard Veenstra and Chris Landman along the way. But it was an outsider, Spanish player, Ricardo Perez Ibarra, who was victorious and progressed to the final. His opponent would be a resurgent Adams, who beat Pal Szekely in the Quarter Final and Aaron Turner in the semis.
So onto the final and the experience of Adams showed through with a hard fought 6-5 victory. Ibarra, can think himself unlucky not to claim the title, but maybe he will be one to keep an eye on.
PDC World Championships '12 To Follow'
I've split my 12 To Follow into 3 groups: -
Today I will focus on four players who I believe have the best chance of winning.
Michael Van Gerwen
Sounds obvious, I know, but he must be the favourite going into the tournament. He may not have had an all-conquering season,by his standards, but he has been there or thereabouts for most (big) tournaments and won a whopping 19 in total this year, including The Masters, World Grand Prix and the Premier League He is also the only player to have a 100 average for the year (102.03).
So with those credentials he is certainly the favourite and will, perhaps, be even more determined following his Players Championship defeat by Daryl Gurney.
Prior to the draw, many would have predicted a Van Gerwen v Anderson final. However this is not possible as they find themselves in the same half of the draw. This could set up a very exciting semi-final, should both progress to that stage. Anderson has had a good season too and won 8 titles, most notably the UK Open and the World Matchplay. He has got to the latter stages of many other tournaments this season too, so has been consistent. It could be this consistency that see him progress and make him less likely to succumb to an upset.Potentially (seeding wise), he could face Darren Webster in the last 16 and either Daryl Gurney or Dave Chisnall in the quarter final. However if he continues to throw around his year average of 99+, then he is likely to remain victorious. That said, we could see some exciting games involving the Scot.
So with the top half, seemingly between Van Gerwen or Anderson, this does give an opportunity to those in the other half to stake their claim. One with the form and potential is Gerwyn Price. Price has been ultra consistent in the second half of the year. He didn't have the best of times in the Premier League, but had the mettle to gather himself and make progress ever since. Wins in the PDC International Open and the Grand Slam of Darts have given him the taste of success. Always ultra competitive, he shouldn't lack confidence or nerve, although he does need to take a little care with being over confident, especially in the early rounds. Going on seeding (and rough prediction), he could face a tricky Ian White in the last 16, and then a mouth watering Peter Wright in the last 8. Although it depends on which Peter Wright turns up!
After winning an epic final at the World Series of Darts Finals, James Wade, said (paraphrase) of his beaten opponent, 'Once he wins his first big title, there will be no stopping him!' That beaten finalist was Michael Smith. Still young in darts terms, he seems to have put in the work in the last 2 or 3 years and the potential which many have been talking about, seems to be coming to fruition.
Smith had a great Premier League, finishing runner up to Van Gerwen and always being near the top of the league table. He seemed to have a new found confidence, which along with his obvious natural talent, was breath taking at times. He can certainly beat anyone on his day and the 2019 World Championships should be no different. Mentored by Gary Anderson, he will be equipped with a wealth of inside information of what it takes to be a World Champion.
Smith won 3 tournaments during the season, most notably the Shanghai Masters in July,but has been causing all sorts of headaches for his opponents, making the latter stages of many more tournaments.
His section of the draw looks kind, with Mensur Sujovic, looking to be his major contender for the quarter final place. Smith could certainly provide some fireworks!
So there's my first instalment, I hope that gives you some food for thought. Tomorrow I will be looking at some 'dark horses', who may surprise a few and reach the latter stages, and who knows - even win....
And finally, those answers to the last post's quiz:
1) The first PDC World Championships took place in 1994. Name the finalists?
Dennis Priestley beat Phil Taylor 6-1
2) Who was the first Welsh player to appear at the World Darts Championship, doing so in 2001?
3) John Part has won the PDC World Championships twice. First in 2003, beating Phil Taylor. Which outsider, did he beat to claim his second title in 2008?
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