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Friday 18 November 2016

Darts Weekly GRAND SLAM OF DARTS

Ando avoids upset to get through to the quarters Reports, reaction, analysis Pages 2-9

Exclusive MacKenzie opens up about his battle with dartitis Pages 14-15

Exclusive Bobby George interview Pages 10-11


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Friday 18 November 2016 Darts Weekly

Anderson and Barney end BDO hopes in Grand Slam as Dobey edges past Hughes Alex Moss CHIEF DARTS WRITER

On a mission: Raymond van Barneveld celebrates last night’s win over Glen Durrant

Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld ended the BDO’s hopes in this year’s SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts last night, as James Wade and Chris Dobey also progressed to the quarter-finals. Reigning William Hill World Darts Champion, Anderson, took on Dutch debutant Danny Noppert in his second round tie, with the BDO star threatening an upset as he took a 6-4 lead. Although the Scot held a slender 3-2 advantage at the first break, Noppert levelled with a brilliant 10 darter, before checking out 164 to go in front for the first time. A 13 darter put the Scottish Open champion 5-3 up, and when he held throw to go 6-4 ahead he had yet to miss a shot at a double. Anderson fought back after the second interval with a run of five straight legs, as Noppert’s perfect doubling came to an end with two

missed darts at tops in separate legs. The 25-year-old, staring defeat in the face at 9-6 down, responded in style with a 107 finish, before taking the next two legs to force a 19th and final leg. But Anderson’s class and experience on the big stage showed, as he fired in a 180 before checking out 100 in two darts to

“Danny played well but I hung in there I was struggling with the throw as well” claim victory by the narrowest of margins. “I should have finished it off when I was 9-6 up,” Anderson said. “I nearly made a mess of it again in the last leg but I scraped home.

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“Danny played well but I hung in there. I was struggling with the throw as well because my darts were going in straight and I like them to stand up a little bit more. I don’t know if it’s me compensating for wearing glasses and my throw being slightly different but I’m getting there.” Anderson will now face van Barneveld in a mouth-watering quarter-final tomorrow night, after the 2012 Grand Slam winner knocked out the final BDO player in the field, Glen Durrant, 10-7. The pair shared the opening four legs before the Dutchman reeled off three legs in a row to take a 5-2 lead in the best of 19 leg tie. BDO number one Durrant came back with three legs of his own to level the match up at 5-5, but another three-leg burst saw van Barneveld pull away to 8-5. And the five-time world champion then claimed two of the next four legs to get over the line as a 10-7 winner. “I knew it was going to be tough


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Wright and Taylor set up last eight clash at Grand Slam Phil Taylor and Peter Wright breezed through their last 16 ties at the SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts to set up an exciting quarter-final clash tonight. Taylor, a six-time winner of the Grand Slam, continued his bid to complete another Wolverhampton triumph with a 10-5 win over Canada’s Jeff Smith on Wednesday night. Despite the BDO World Championship runner-up sharing the opening four legs with Taylor, Smith was then punished for missed doubles as the 16-time world champion claimed five legs in a row to move 7-2 up. Smith fought back with a 152 checkout, before Taylor secured

because Glen played well in the group and he’s a class player, so I couldn’t underestimate him,” van Barneveld said. “It was a hard game to find my rhythm but at the end I hit a 98 average and 52 per cent of my doubles so I’m happy. “Gary’s the world champion and world number two so it will be a different game on Saturday and I know what I’ve got to do, but it will be a better rhythm.” James Wade continued his bid to reach a second Grand Slam final as he breezed past Benito van de Pas 10-2 to race into the quarter-finals. The 2010 runner-up was in a ruthless mood as he punished van de Pas for missed doubles in the opening three legs, before hitting two 14 darters and a 96 checkout as he moved 7-0 up. A brilliant 160 checkout saw Wade extend his lead to 8-0, while the next four legs were shared to see the multiple time major winner over the line. “It was a good performance, crisp and

Powered up: Phil Taylor is bidding for a seventh Grand Slam title and clean and thankfully Benito didn’t play as well as he can,” Wade reflected. “I was so far in front that I believed I was always going to win. “I tried to be ruthless but I was 9-1 up so I was just happy to win.” Wade will now face youngster Chris Dobey in the quarter-finals tomorrow, after the Grand Slam debutant survived a thrilling deciding leg against home favourite Jamie Hughes. The Northumberland ace moved to the brink of victory at 9-5, but the former Lakeside semi-finalist responded with four legs on the spin to force a deciding leg. Dobey had missed six match darts before the decider, but in the final leg it was Hughes who spurned his opportunity, missing five darts at doubles to win. Dobey was way back on 304 when Hughes had left 24, but scores of 100 and 180 left him on the same double, which he hit first time to go through to his first TV quarter-final.

his place in the last eight. “I’m pleased to be through but not pleased with my performance,” he said. “I felt good but I’ll get back on the practice board and make sure I’m right for the quarter-finals.” Fifth seed Wright reeled off eight legs on the spin to beat Darryl Fitton 10-3 and reach the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam for the first time. Fitton, the reigning BDO World Trophy champion, lead 3-2 at the first break, but Wright returned with an impressive eight leg burst to comfortably progress. “I still know there’s more in the tank,” he said. “I have had some great battles with Phil and it should be another one on Friday.” Defending champion Michael van Gerwen continued his bid to retain the title after seeing off Robert Thornton 10-5. Van Gerwen will now face Brendan Dolan, who came from behind to beat Gerwyn Price 10-9.


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Legend is a fitting description for the battling Martin Adams LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Josh Gorton JOSH’S DARTISTRY Three-time Lakeside champion Martin Adams bowed out of the 2016 Grand Slam of Darts on Monday evening. Wolfie needed to beat Brendan Dolan by 5-3 or better to keep alive his qualification hopes, but he narrowly fell short. Adams performed fantastically on his debut Grand Slam campaign 12 months ago where he defeated Jelle Klaasen, Ian White and Steve Beaton to reach the knockout stages, before losing a deciding-leg shootout to Kim Huybrechts in the last 16. However, the 60-year-old was understandably unable to replicate such heroics this time around, largely due to his well-documented health problems. Despite this, he still firmly made his mark on the competition. Adams’ participation in this year’s Grand Slam was cast into genuine doubt when it was revealed in September that he’d been battling prostate cancer for the last eight months, therefore the fact he was able to compete is a triumph in itself. Adams began his second course of radiotherapy in August and his treatment concluded in midSeptember, while he also underwent hormone treatment alongside the radiotherapy. Since his diagnosis last year, Adams has become an ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK Charity, working to raise awareness of the condition. Inevitably, Adams’ health issues had a debilitating effect on his performances in Wolverhampton, although he did not let this dampen his spirits. He still performed with a wonderful sense of enjoyment and his refreshing care-free attitude once again endeared him to the

adoring crowd at the Civic Hall. Adams still demonstrated glimpses of his class throughout his three matches. He converted fantastic 103 and 156 finishes in his tie against PDC World Youth champion Max Hopp, while he also fired in two maximums in his defeat against Dolan. The quality is still there, but the consistency is understandably lacking at present.

‘Adams is a true gentleman of the game and one of the greatest of all time’ He faced world number one Michael van Gerwen in his opening group game and managed to claim two legs, but the most enjoyable aspect of his performance was his interaction and camaraderie with the crowd. MVG has become synonymous for his animated celebrations which follow a 180 or big checkout which can antagonise many top players. However, whenever MVG

produced a moment of magic, Adams simply laughed, applauded and continued with a smile on his face. He relished the opportunity of playing the world’s best. The focus of Adams’ 2016 Grand Slam campaign should not be his averages or results, but rather the fortitude and strength he’s shown to compete in this event. He’s an inspiration for so many by tackling his illness head-on. The word ‘legend’ has become somewhat of a monotonous cliché in sport. That type of praise should be reserved for players and figures who have created a legacy within their sport and will be fondly remembered for decades to come. However, in the case of Adams, legend is a fitting description. Wolfie is unquestionably one of the greatest players of all time, but more importantly he’s a true gentleman of the game. Today, Adams is set to receive his cancer test results. The entire darting community will keep their fingers crossed for positive news, and hopefully he will return to Wolverhampton in far better health next year. Keep laughing Martin!


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Friday 18 November 2016 Darts Weekly

Top quality line-up left in the last eight of the Grand Slam Alex Moss CHIEF DARTS WRITER And then there were eight. The 2016 SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts is set for a thrilling conclusion this weekend with a quarter-final line-up left which is brimming with quality. Michael van Gerwen, the defending champion, is the obvious favourite to add to his collection of titles on Sunday night, but in his way are a number of contenders who will all believe they can put a puncture in the MVG bandwagon over the course of the next three days. For the third consecutive year we have no players from the BDO in the last eight, with the final three representatives left standing last night all bowing out in close encounters. Jamie Hughes and Danny Noppert will count themselves unfortunate not to still be in the running for the £100,000 first prize, the duo losing out in deciding legs to Chris Dobey and Gary Anderson respectively. While BDO number one Glen Durrant just left himself too much to do in his 10-7 defeat to an inform Raymond van Barneveld. It was four years ago this weekend that Barney resurrected his career by winning this title, and based on his form over the last seven days it would not surprise many to see him lifting the Grand Slam title for a second time at the end of the tournament. Van Barneveld has been in sparkling form so far, with the 10-7 triumph over Durrant last night his fourth win in four outings and the third time he has averaged in three figures. The five-time world champion set his stall out in the first session at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall last Saturday, firing in a 110.15 average as he swept aside Nathan

Aspinall 5-1 in his opening Group F game. Wins over Noppert and Mensur Suljovic followed over the next two days, both with averages over 100, before last night he finished with a 98.19 average in the win against the BDO’s top player. Much was made of both Barney and Adrian Lewis’ absence from the Unibet European Championship at the end of last month, with both returning to action in the Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals a week later. Van Barneveld looked out of form as he plundered in an 87.10 average in a 6-2 defeat to Simon Whitlock in his first game, but it is clear he is making up for lost time with this run in Wolverhampton this week. While for Lewis, he left the Grand Slam without a win in his

‘There are several contenders who believe they can beat van Gerwen’ three group games, despite finishing with a tournament average over 102. It would leave any player cursing their luck, but for a player of Jackpot’s ability it appears that he is lacking a bit of sharpness to his game, which only playing in a competitive environment can really bring. The first two quarter-finals take place tonight, with van Gerwen the hot favourite to end Brendan Dolan’s best-ever run in the Grand Slam in the round’s opening salvo. Van Gerwen thrashed the Northern Irishman 5-1 in their Group A encounter on Sunday evening, and although Dolan has shown great tenacity to grind out wins over Martin Adams and Gerwyn Price, MVG is likely to have too much for him to cope with tonight.

The favourite: Van Gerwen takes on Dolan tonight The format increases to the best of 31 legs for the rest of the tournament, a format which will favour Phil Taylor especially. Taylor has won the Grand Slam six times before, and was runnerup to van Gerwen last year, but going on performances so far he is in for a real battle with fifth seed Peter Wright in their quarter-final later tonight. Wright is enjoying his best run in the Grand Slam, his previous best was the last 16, but he has looked in good form during his four games to press. The Scot’s draw in the group stage was a potential banana skin, with Simon Whitlock, Jeff Smith and Ted Evetts, but Wright never looked troubled as he dropped just four legs on his way to topping the group with maximum points. After a slow start against Darryl Fitton in his last 16 tie, Wright reeled off eight legs on the bounce to come out a 10-3 winner. If he is to get the better of Taylor tonight he cannot afford a slow start. Taylor is well known for pulling away in long distance matches and not looking back, so Wright must make sure he is on it from the opening leg. The bottom half of the draw continues tomorrow with the final two quarter-finals. James Wade has been his steady, consistent self so far and will be fancied to get the better of young Chris Dobey, who for him this will be the biggest match of his career to date. Getting over the line against Jamie Hughes, and a partisan crowd, will stand him in good stead though and he will go into the game confident of continuing his best-ever run on TV. Anderson and Barney round off the quarter-finals in a clash which really could go either way.


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CHRISTOPHER KEMPF MATCH OF THE WEEK - J SMITH 5-4 S WHITLOCK (GRAND SLAM OF DARTS)

Bullseye brilliance from Smith at the Civic Hall

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double 20. But Smith, who had scored a crucial 180 to put him back in the leg, responded under pressure to hit the bullseye to win the match, completing a superb 82 outshot. With that, the resurgent Whitlock was eliminated in grand style. PDC stages have experienced in recent years a dearth of ‘Darth Maple’ John Part, the most successful Canadian darts player in history, has gradually transferred his energies from the oche to the commentary box. But his countryman Smith is doing his part to carry the banner of Canadian darts proudly forward.

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No match could have better illustrated the fact that neither national origin nor organisational affiliation matter in the slightest in professional darts than this one. Jeff Smith and Simon Whitlock, two World Championship finalists from opposite corners of the globe representing opposite sides of the acrimonious split, produced a thrilling match played at a cracking pace. Both players, having suffered fairly ignominious defeats to world number five Peter Wright, saw in this final group match an opportunity not merely to qualify for the knockout phase of the Grand Slam, but also to remind their upcoming opponent, Phil Taylor, that he would not be able to treat that encounter as if the outcome were predetermined. If that were indeed their inducement, they rose admirably to the occasion. An explosive first leg stylishly inaugurated the match. Whitlock reached a score of 132 after only nine darts, giving him a fair chance to break throw and seize an early advantage. Smith, however, crushed the expectations of the Aussie with a 170 finish, and raised a finger in celebration. If Whitlock was expecting to play the man who averaged 86 in a landslide defeat to Wright, he had been suddenly disabused of that idea. Whitlock, who had no visible reaction to his opponent scoring the biggest checkout in darts, proceeded in the next two legs to turn up the scoring power and take

a 2-1 lead along with the first break of throw of the match. The advantage, however, was short-lived, as Smith responded with a 12 dart leg, hammering six consecutive perfect darts into the board from 270 and breaking back with a clinical 90 checkout. From that point forward Whitlock continued to find big trebles, outscoring Smith just enough to take a slight advantage in each leg. Not a single dart of his aimed at the treble 20 or 19 stayed into the one, three, five or seven segments. But the Wizard’s two attempts at huge checkouts, both of which saw a dart at bullseye thwart two preceding trebles, were unable to kill off legs. Smith thus enabled himself, by means of a quartet of impressive combination finishes, to deny Whitlock the darts at doubles that he needed to win the match. The 2016 BDO World Championship finalist averaged overall nearly five points per visit less than did Whitlock, but two bounce outs in the eighth leg artificially lowered the Canadian’s average. Losing a leg against the throw with a 51 average frustrated Smith, but it did not appear to distract him from the task of maintaining composure in a last leg decider, as Whitlock levelled the match at 4-4. As in many of the previous legs, Whitlock’s early scoring in the decider gave him the first attempt at a matchwinning finish, this time from 132. Unluckily for him, however, a dart scoring 25 followed a bullseye, leaving the Aussie only able to set up three darts at


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Friday 18 November 2016 Darts Weekly

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

“I started playing pairs with my mate and he said: ‘you’ve got to take this up, you’ve got a gift’”

Bobby George chats to Alex Moss about his last 40 years playing and talking about darts

obert Francis George, more affectionately known as Bobby George, or the ‘King of Bling’, or even the ‘Bobby Dazzler’ has been playing darts now for 40 years. A two-time winner of the famous News of the World tournament, as well as a two-time runner-up in the World Championship, George is one of the most well-known players in the history of the sport. Whether it’s from his time playing as a professional from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, to his work for the BBC as a pundit and commentator on their darts coverage, you will be hard-pressed to find a darts fan who has not heard the name Bobby George. And while the new breed of players are being introduced to the game through the unprecedented television coverage of the PDC’s top players, for George it was somewhat of an accident that he discovered the sport. “I was 30-years-old,” he recalls. “I went fishing and couldn’t go fishing because the sea was too rough. “I went in the pub with my mate who used to play darts. I thought it was a fanny game to be honest with you. “I started playing pairs with my mate and he said: ‘you’ve got to take this up, you’ve got a gift’. “I came home and then on the Wednesday I went to the super league. They wouldn’t let me join at first because you’ve got to be the best player in the area to do super league. And then my mate said

“I did well enough to get known and then I went for the exhibitions”

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Bobby Dazzler: Bobby George PICTURE: BBC.CO.UK ‘well he can play better than me, if you don’t sign him I’m not playing for you’. “And they signed me and I won it that night and I never looked back. “I went in tournaments and I won them. I won the News of the World, that was the one to win. “I done enough to get known and then I went for the exhibitions, because I was very good at exhibitions, darts I’m talking about! “I had the ladies come along, a lot of ladies, I used to have probably 60 per cent ladies in the audience then, and because I wore the glitter they thought I was gay, so I had a lot of gay people come along as well. “I got the ladies following me, and all the gays. You get the women in the audience paying the ticket, the hard dart player and you’ve got the gay people, it is a party all round!” While the likes of Eric Bristow, John Lowe and Jocky Wilson were travelling around the world chasing tournament success, George decided to focus more on exhibitions. A route which in today’s game, where the winner of the next William Hill World Darts Championship will take home a record £350,000, would now never be thought of. “I just had the gift to play and turn money out of it, and that’s what I did,” the 70-year-old said.


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“I didn’t go round the world like all the others. I won a lot of tournaments, and you look at what I have won, I won a lot but only in a short while. “I went down the road to earn money and I done that ever since. I could have done a lot more, won a lot more, but I didn’t want that. “I wanted guaranteed money, and I got good money. I earned a lot of money. I done very well out of the game. “Sometimes I think I should of done more but then you can’t have your cake and eat it can you? “Now the tournaments make your money, if you’re up the top. “It’s if you’re not up the top you’re not going to get the money. If you fall out the top of the PDC it’s very hard to get back and it’s very hard to get exhibitions. “But their system is if you’re good enough play. You pay to play and you get good money, and if I was younger, and Eric, and probably all of us would have been in this system, because we were there to earn money.”

One thing which George does believe is similar in the sport to when he was playing is the dedication players have to possess. “You’ve got to sacrifice a lot,” he said. “These guys don’t get it by sitting on their a***. They’ve got to get on that dartboard all the time. “It’s not easy. People think they’re only throwing darts. You walk up and down for five hours,

“I had to sacrifice my home life to get on the dartboard all the time” it’s hard, it’s boring. “You practice on your doubles, round the board, then you go for your shots out. “At Christmas time you’d be on the dartboard every day, because after Christmas you play the World Championship. “Or if you went to America for a month you’re playing every day. It was short games but it was good money in America.

“You’re playing in the North American Open and it’s all 301 double in double out. It’s a dangerous game, but good money in them days. You had to practice that as well. “I had to sacrifice my home life to get on the dartboard all the time. “There would be hours and hours and hours of practice before. They reckon it’s 10,000 hours to play to be a good dart player, unless you’re born with it. “10,000 hours to train yourself. It’s a long time. It’s a gift. I had a gift. “Michael (van Gerwen) has a gift. Gary (Anderson) has a gift. “They did it very quick, so you’ve got to be born with the gift and take it.” Bobby was talking at the premiere of the new documentary film House of Flying Arrows, which is now available on digital download and on Blu-Ray and DVD. You can order now at www.amazon.co.uk


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Woong Hee Han clinches the Korea Open title in Seoul DYNASTY JAPAN

Richard Edwards ASIAN DARTS CORRESPONDENT This past Sunday, Afreeca TV FreecUp Studio in Gangnam, Seoul hosted the Korea Open. With soft tip darts still very dominant in Korea, it was very exciting to be involved in a big steel tournament in Korea. Steel tip events of this size come very few and far between and the turnout was great. The usual faces that I plied my trade against on the PDK tour last year were in attendance, as well as some stars from the soft tip scene. I managed to finish top of my group and stumbled through to the last 16, where I met one of the aforementioned soft tip superstars, Min Seok Choi. My good visits were too rare and he beat me 3-1. The quarter-finals onwards were up on stage and streamed live so I guess this was the closest I have come so far to a big stage appearance. Min Seok lost in the quarterfinals to another soft tip star, Woong Hee Han, the telling difference here could have been Woong Hee also happens to be a steel tip star too (he finished second in the PDK rankings last year). Before the quarter-finals of the men’s event, Suk Hee Song beat Rain Wong 3-1 in a very close encounter to win the women’s tournament. Rain Wong had darts at tops in both the third and fourth legs, but Suk Hee held her nerve to take out double eight with her last dart in hand to clinch the title. In the men’s final, Woong Hee went on to make it to the final where he faced Tae Kyung Lee. After an early exchange of legs, sitting at 2-2, Woong Hee took a very nervy fifth leg which saw both players miss double 16 on more

than one occasion. This leg proved to be crucial as Woong Hee then went on to win the sixth leg. Tae Kyung missed a dart at tops in the seventh leg, which was duly punished as Woong Hee took out 73. His first dart in treble 17, and just as I was muttering to the wife how I would have gone for 19s, he had found double 11 and was shaking his opponents hand

having won 5-2. I was very impressed with how the tournament was run and it was very well presented. Up next we’ve got the Macau Open which takes place later this month (three soft tip and one steel tip competitions) and then it’s the Phoenix Masters (soft tip) in Korea next month, so I haven’t got it that bad!

In brief Dedicated darts channel returning to Sky Sports Sky Sports have announced they will be bringing back its dedicated darts channel for the 2017 William Hill World Darts Championship next month. From Monday, December 12, Sky Sports 3 will be rebranded as Sky Sports Darts, and will show every session of the PDC’s biggest tournament live on the channel. Some sessions will also be simulcast live on Sky Sports 1. Harris wins Memorial event Cody Harris defeated Greg Moss 62 to win the Ted Clements Memorial

Memorial in Levin, New Zealand on Saturday. The PDC Word Cup of Darts star had earlier beaten Mick Lacey 5-3 in the semi-finals, while Moss edged a decider 5-4 against Mark Cleaver to reach the final. Sha Hohipa was the winner of the women’s singles after beating Tina Osborne 6-4 in the final. Cameron on top in Open David Cameron was the winner of the men’s singles at the Seacoast Open on Saturday. The Canadian toppled America’s Leonard Gates 6-1 in the final to scoop the top prize.


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Friday 18 November 2016 Darts Weekly

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

“I’ve got my game back to 90 per cent of where it was - but I’ve not cured my dartitis”

Scott MacKenzie opens up about his battle and research into dartitis to Richard Edwards

n part two of my interview with Scott MacKenzie, he talks about his ongoing battle with dartitis and his unbeaten record against Phil Taylor…

“Eric Bristow spoke to me about dartitis and said he has never got over it”

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What’s this about dartitis in baseball? Well people may or may not know that I have been suffering from dartitis for around two years now. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, it’s a horrible condition. I have read almost everything out there about dartitis, information and knowledge is power and I’m doing my best to try to gather as much data as possible and by doing so overcome it. There seems to be certain characteristics/similarities that stand out, for example it only affects seasoned players, it always involves an involuntary movement/nonmovement or locking up of the hands or arm and finally, there is a fear of missing that overwhelms the person. Eric Bristow was probably the most famous dart player to have it and he even had a chat to me about it when I was at the World Championship, and he said that he never got over it even to this day. It ruined

his career. During my research I’ve discovered that dartitis is not just restricted to darts, it’s very common in all target sports. In archery it is called ‘target panic’ - some top archers can’t release their bowstring at the right time, when they see the bullseye they will just shoot the arrow into the ground or release too early and miss the target by a huge margin. The similarities between dartitis and ‘target panic’ is uncanny. It happens in golf, snooker, it affects cricket bowlers and baseball players, where it’s often called flinching or ‘the yips’. Chuck Knoblauch, who played for the New York Yankees, at one stage had the yips so bad he couldn’t throw the baseball to first base. He could throw to second or third base, but something psychologically affected him with first base. It is both a physical and psychological condition in my opinion and I have so far been able to get my game back to about 90 per cent of where it was. I wouldn’t say I’ve cured it, but I’ve kept it at bay. The answer? Well it took me two years and a lot of hard work to find it, I’ll be writing a lengthy article about it, which hopefully will help people with the condition.


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Do you have a job outside of darts? How often do you practice? When I arrived in Hong Kong my first job was as an English editor. I have also worked in consulting and finance. I’m now a freelance editor/writer again so it’s gone full circle. I used to practice two hours a day by myself but now probably just one, but as I play many league games and tournaments I do end up throwing darts for several hours during those events. So it probably does average out still to around two hours a day. Do you play much soft tip darts in Hong Kong? Is your soft tip darts set up similar to

your steel tip set up? Do you make any adjustments? Yes I play a lot of soft tip As I mentioned, it’s great to play darts in Asia at the moment. There are now so many tournaments, and many conflict, the soft tip manufacturers are all trying to get a slice of the pie. My soft tip darts are quite different, they are designed by the Japanese company DMC. I throw the dart basically the same, but as my soft tip dart is a bit lighter I guess automatically I throw it slightly differently, but I don’t think it is substantially different though. What is the highlight of your career so far?

Winning the Hong Kong Open in 2010 was great, and doing it again last year was definitely a highlight. Representing Hong Kong in four Asia Pacific Cups has also been a good achievement, but I think my best performance was qualifying for the PDC World Championship for the third time. I decided to do the PDPA Qualifier in the UK, it was a very tough field of over 500 players. All the PDC players that hadn’t already qualified were there, I had to beat some big names. Believe it or not, I have played Phil Taylor once and also James Wade and have an unbeaten record against them both. I also took Gary Anderson to 6-5 where I missed six match darts.


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Friday 18 November 2016 Darts Weekly

Kenny crowned Jersey Open champion for the first time Nick Kenny continued his preparations for his BDO World Championship debut next year with victory in the Jersey Open at the weekend. The Welsh youngster defeated Paul Harvey 5-1 in the final on Saturday to pick up the title, having beaten Eddie Le Bailly Junior, Geoff Heath, Martin Atkins, Graham Cummings and Mark McGeeney earlier on. Kenny also enjoyed a good run in the Jersey Classic, eventually bowing out in the quarter-finals to Ross Montgomery (4-2), who himself went on to beat Daniel Day 5-3 in the final. Speaking about his triumph in Jersey, Kenny told the South Wales Argus: “I played really well in patches during the early rounds and only faced one dart to lose any of those matches. “I was getting off to good starts and keeping on top of the play. “One of the guys I beat said he played out of his skin but just couldn’t get on top of me.

“I seem to be playing well at just the right time with those big events coming up.” Montgomery’s success in the Jersey Classic saw him record wins over Harvey, Kenny, Mark McGeeney and then Day in the decider. Elsewhere, the top two players in the ladies rankings collided in the final of the Jersey Open, with

“I was getting off to good starts and keeping on top of the play” second seed Lisa Ashton getting the better of top seed Deta Hedman. Ashton completed a hat-trick of Jersey Open titles with a 4-1 win against Hedman in the final. But Hedman did not leave empty handed as she claimed the Jersey Classic title, beating Beau Greaves 4-1 in the final. Greaves continues to impress on

100 up: Deta Hedman is presented with a silver plaque in recognition of winning 100 BDO ranking titles the ladies circuit, with the 12-yearold only being edged out 4-3 by former world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova in the quarter-finals of the Jersey Open earlier on. In the semi-finals of the Classic, Hedman saw off reigning world champion Trina Gulliver 4-0, while Greaves toppled Casey Gallagher 4-2 in the other last four tie. In the men’s semi-finals, Montgomery whitewashed McGeeney 5-0, and in the other semi-final Day got the better of Jim Williams 5-1. While in the Open, Kenny got through to the final after edging past McGeeney 5-4 in the semifinals, with Harvey seeing off Wayne Warren 5-2 in the other tie. In the ladies section, Hedman knocked out last year’s runner-up Fallon Sherrock 4-1, and Ashton beat Dobromyslova 4-2.

Database PDC SINGHA BEER GRAND SLAM OF DARTS (Wolverhampton) Group A - B Dolan (93.65) bt M Hopp (89.00) 5-4; M van Gerwen (93.64) bt M Adams (91.47) 5-2; M van Gerwen (104.58) bt B Dolan (95.13) 5-1; M Hopp (86.36) bt M Adams (80.47) 5-3; M van Gerwen (95.93) bt M Hopp (87.37) 5-1; B Dolan (80.87) bt M Adams (80.96) 5-3. Group B - D van den Bergh (90.15) bt G Price (92.26) 5-4; R Thornton (96.00) bt S Waites (91.15) 5-3; R Thornton (96.90) bt D van den Bergh (90.56) 5-4; G Price (84.46) bt S Waites (84.83) 5-2; G Price (91.73) bt R Thornton (93.48) 5-3, D van den Bergh (91.60) bt S Waites (93.13) 5-4; R Thornton (345) bt D van den Bergh (340) in a Nine Dart Shootout. Group C - S Whitlock (92.08) bt T Evetts (85.69) 5-1; P Wright (93.78) bt J Smith (86.33) 5-1; P Wright (107.36) bt S Whitlock (87.95) 5-0; J Smith (89.29) bt T Evetts (90.43) 5-4; P Wright (100.39) bt T Evetts (100.39) 5-3; J Smith (96.98) bt S Whitlock (101.74) 5-4. Group D - I White (93.62) bt D Webster (93.49) 5-3; P Taylor (104.30) bt D Fitton (84.90) 5-1; P Taylor (92.94) bt I White (84.13) 5-1; D Fitton (87.30) bt D Webster (88.99) 5-4; D Webster (96.35) bt P Taylor (87.08) 5-0; D

Fitton (87.27) bt I White (88.86) 5-4. Group E - N Derry (91.56) bt A Norris (97.65) 5-4; G Anderson (100.66) bt G Durrant (98.52) 5-4; G Anderson (89.46) bt N Derry (82.44) 5-0; G Durrant (94.87) bt A Norris (95.25) 5-1; G Anderson (97.33) bt A Norris (94.60) 5-2; G Durrant (97.60) bt N Derry (76.20) 5-0. Group F - D Noppert (101.06) bt M Suljovic (98.40) 5-3; R van Barneveld (110.15) bt N Aspinall (97.46) 5-1; R van Barneveld (104.66) bt D Noppert (103.88) 5-2; M Suljovic (99.50) bt N Aspinall (97.79) 5-3; R van Barneveld (100.29) bt M Suljovic (94.58) 5-3; D Noppert (90.24) bt N Aspinall (88.56) 5-2. Group G - J Wilson (84.13) bt D Chisnall (88.73) 5-2; J Wade (91.31) bt J Hughes (86.55) 5-3; J Wade (95.85) bt J Wilson (85.21) 5-3, J Hughes (106.32) bt D Chisnall (102.51) 5-1; D Chisnall (98.92) bt J Wade (100.58) 5-3; J Hughes (91.96) bt J Wilson (91.00) 5-4. Group H - B van de Pas (95.91) bt C Dobey (94.36) 5-4; S Mitchell (107.78) bt A Lewis (97.62) 5-1; B van de Pas (95.61) bt S Mitchell (83.35) 5-1; C Dobey (97.42) bt A Lewis (108.68) 5-3; B van de Pas (100.90) bt A Lewis (100.19) 5-2; C Dobey (92.74) bt S Mitchell (92.61) 5-3. Last 16 - M van Gerwen (103.24) bt R Thornton (94.23) 10-5; B Dolan (91.36) bt G Price (89.38) 10-

9; P Wright (99.69) bt D Fitton (92.14) 10-3; P Taylor (98.04) bt J Smith (91.54) 10-5; G Anderson (101.12) bt D Noppert (100.01) 109; R van Barneveld (98.19) bt G Durrant (95.50) 10-7; C Dobey (94.01) bt J Hughes (90.38) 10-9; J Wade (92.87) bt B van de Pas (88.81) 10-2. WDF JERSEY OPEN (Jersey, Channel Islands) Men’s singles last 16 - M McGeeney bt P Stockton 4-1; B Kirk bt S Carroll 4-3; N Kenny bt M Atkins 4-3; G Cummings bt S Plank 4-3; W Warren bt J Williams 4-3; C Hill bt C Beaumont 4-3; P Harvey bt N Birkin 4-3; M Razma bt A Fordham 4-3. Quarterfinals - M McGeeney bt B Kirk 4-2; N Kenny bt G Cummings 4-2; W Warren bt C Hill 4-0; P Harvey bt M Razma 4-3. Semi-finals - N Kenny bt M McGeeney 5-4; P Harvey bt W Warren 5-2. Final - N Kenny bt P Harvey 51. Ladies singles last 16 - D Hedman bt C La Touche 4-0; S Cusick bt S Carrett 4-1; F Sherrock bt M Sutton 4-0; S Roberts bt T Gulliver 4-2; A Dobromyslova bt C Gallagher 4-0; B Greaves bt Y Le Gallic 4-2; G Leigh bt S Thame 4-1; L Ashton bt R Griffiths 4-1. Quarter-finals - D Hedman bt S Cusick 40; F Sherrock bt S Roberts 4-1; A


Darts Weekly Friday 18 November 2016

17 SY MILDREN

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Midlands are within touching distance of top spot now after overcoming previously-unbeaten Gwent 24-12. Dorset, the only other unbeaten side left in Division One, also tasted defeat for the first time this season after losing 20-16 at home to Cornwall. Neil Meener was the man of the match for Cornwall with a 96.97

Lamb 4-0, as the visitors won four of the last five games to pull away to victory. Elsewhere in Division One, Cleveland and Kent drew 18-18 and bottom side London beat County Durham 19-17. Northamptonshire maintained top spot in Division Two with a 23-13 win at home against Staffordshire.

Dobromyslova bt B Greaves 4-3; L Ashton bt G Leigh 4-0. Semi-finals - D Hedman bt F Sherrock 4-1; L Ashton bt A Dobromyslova 42. Final - L Ashton bt D Hedman 4-1.

TARGET KOREA OPEN (Seoul, South Korea) Men’s singles final - W Hee Han bt T Kyung Lee 5-2. Ladies singles final - S Hee Song bt R Wong 3-1.

JERSEY CLASSIC (Jersey, Channel Islands) Men’s singles last 16 - M McGeeney bt P Rothulzen 4-0; W Warren bt M C Atkins 4-1; N Kenny bt R Mooyman 4-1; R Montgomery bt P Harvey 4-2; J Williams bt D Brand 4-1; M Dicken bt P Milburn 4-1; D Day bt J Hurrell 4-1; D Day bt C Quinn 4-1. Quarter-finals - M McGeeney bt W Warren 4-2; R Montgomery bt N Kenny 4-2; J Williams bt M Dicken 4-0; D Day bt C Quinn 4-2. Semi-finals - R Montgomery bt M McGeeney 5-0; D Day bt J Williams 5-1. Final - R Montgomery bt D Day 5-3. Ladies semi-finals - D Hedman bt T Gulliver 4-0; B Greaves bt C Gallagher 4-2. Final - D Hedman bt B Greaves 4-1.

MALTA OPEN Men’s singles final - P Williams bt D Prins 6-2. Ladies singles final - C Redhead bt K Kirkby 4-0. Men’s pairs final - Attard/Attard bt Prins/ Halliwell 4-1. Ladies pairs final Woodrow/Chick bt Bispham/Kirkby 4-1. FIXTURES PDC SINGHA BEER GRAND SLAM OF DARTS (Wolverhampton) Quarter-finals - M van Gerwen v B Dolan, P Wright v P Taylor, C Dobey v J Wade, G Anderson v R van Barneveld.

SEACOAST OPEN (USA) Men’s singles final - D Cameron bt L Gates 6-1.

WDF DEVON OPEN (Rainbow Hotel, Torquay) (November 18-20) CZECH OPEN (November 18-20)

TED CLEMENTS MEMORIAL (Levin, New Zealand) Men’s singles final - C Harris bt G Moss 6-2. Ladies singles final - S Hohipa bt T Osborne 6-4.

DARTS ON TV - SINGHA BEER GRAND SLAM OF DARTS (Sky Sports) Tonight 7-10pm, Tomorrow 8-11pm, Sunday 1-4pm and 7-9pm.

triumph over Berkshire, while Cumbria slipped to fourth after losing 21-15 to Worcestershire. The other Division Two fixture saw Northumberland win the battle of the lowly sides against Suffolk, winning 21-15. In Division Three, Gwynedd won the battle of the top two sides with a 21-15 triumph at home over Merseyside. It was the visitors Merseyside who held a slender 10-8 overnight lead, but hosts Gwynedd fought back on the Sunday and took the Women’s A section 4-2 and the Men’s A section 9-3 to pull away to victory over their title rivals. And finally, Norfolk opened up an 11 point lead at the top of Division Four after thrashing bottom of the table Isle of Wight 30-6. Closest challengers Clwyd and Wiltshire also recorded wins at the weekend, beating Shropshire (26-10) and Bedfordshire (20-1

DARTS WEEKLY DOZEN (15/11/2016) Data compiled by Christopher Kempf Player M van Gerwen P Taylor J Klaasen M Suljovic S Whitlock V van der Voort B van de Pas J Cullen M King D Gurney A Norris S Beaton

LLE 15.496 15.645 17.215 17.294 17.683 18.003 18.062 18.218 18.332 18.412 18.609 18.636

Change -0.208 -0.184 N/C -0.036 -0.143 N/C 0.185 N/C N/C N/C -0.212 N/C

◊ The Darts Weekly Dozen estimates and compares the length of the average leg over players’ last 180 televised and streamed legs. ◊ A 5-0 whitewash defeat against Darren Webster, below average setup form against Ian White sinks Phil Taylor’s estimate. ◊ Michael van Gerwen’s checkout difficulties against Max Hopp increases doubles estimates from 2.442 to 2.562. ◊ Major improvement on doubles from Benito van de Pas: a decrease from 3.049 to 2.916 darts at double per finish.


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Friday 18 November 2016 Darts Weekly

DAVE McNALLY DARTS WRITER LAWRENCE LSUTIG/PDC

The worst excuses used in darts over the years Whilst thinking about this week’s column, I heard one of the worst excuses for a defeat by one of my pub team mates. “I couldn’t concentrate because I’m up early in the morning” was spun as an acceptable reason for his loss. After a bit of stick, it got me wondering what other people have used over the years. It’s well documented that Mervyn King blamed the air conditioning for him losing against Raymond van Barneveld in the 2003 BDO World Championship. Despite the organisers claiming that the system was not actually switched on, he went on to complain that van Barneveld’s darts were too heavy to be affected. With this in mind, I decided to delve a little deeper. Paul Nicholson, whether tongue in cheek or not, claimed that Kim Huybrechts’ girlfriend was the reason he lost one of his matches. Her beauty obviously distracting him in the loss. “If she wasn’t in the crowd, I swear to God, I would’ve won that game,” he said. Even the ever consistent Phil Taylor used his age as an excuse, suggesting that because he was in his 50s it was acceptable to get beat. Most dart players at whatever level seem to have excuses ready built for the occasion, harping back to my pub team. So far this season we’ve had “the other fella stunk of garlic” through to “the roof is too low and I was scared my dart will hit it when I throw.” Coupled with all of this, one of

Paul Nicholson, whether tongue in cheek or not, claimed that Kim Huybrechts’ girlfriend was the reason he lost one of his matches the most common excuses I hear is “the marker kept wobbling his head.” Often the words “bogey team” or “we never beat them” is trundled out to a gathering of collected nods from team mates. There are not many people who put their hands up in the world of darts and admit the better team or player won.

‘Mervyn King blamed the air conditioning for a defeat at Lakeside’ World champion Gary Anderson had a ready-made excuse because of his conversion to wearing glasses, as did van Barneveld, often taking them on and off for tournaments with various results. It may be churlish to suggest that glasses improve your sight as it is obviously to do with technique, but nonetheless, it’s an excuse.

Crowds are often blamed, from the odd shout from an individual to the full on partisan hostilities of a home crowd supporting ‘their’ man, it’s a good excuse. King’s earplugs for example, allow him to “block out the negative sounds” because he believed that it was aspects of the crowd that were causing him to lose. Taylor played the crowd to his advantage recently in Glasgow at the Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals when he beat Mensur Suljovic, then complained that the crowd may have contributed to his loss later in the tournament. One of the best excuses heard was a young lad who said he lost because “my dad is here and I can’t smoke because he doesn’t know I smoke and I like a few ciggies to help me relax” Whatever way you look at it, the darts fraternity are especially good when it comes to making excuses, of course not me, not with this bad back of mine.


Issue 46 (November 18, 2016)  

Anderson and Barney end BDO hopes in the Grand Slam | Legend is fitting description for battling Martin Adams | Bobby George chats about his...

Issue 46 (November 18, 2016)  

Anderson and Barney end BDO hopes in the Grand Slam | Legend is fitting description for battling Martin Adams | Bobby George chats about his...

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