Two-time PDC world champion Adrian Lewis was back in the winners’ enclosure this weekend; Dave Chisnall continued his strong start to 2019 with another tournament victory; Martijn Kleermaker does the double in the Netherlands; BDO world youth champion Leighton Bennett wins both JDC titles. ALEX MOSS is here with your weekend review from a busy few days on the darts circuit…
PROFESSIONAL DARTS CORPORATION
Adrian Lewis ended his near two-year title drought in the PDC by winning Players Championship 8 in Wigan on Sunday.
The 2011 and 2012 PDC world champion’s last tournament victory on the tour was back in April 2017, at Players Championship 5, and since then “Jackpot” had lost in five consecutive finals, including four last season.
Lewis averaged 96.97 for the day, and picked up wins over Mark Dudbridge, Mark Webster, Glen Durrant, Luke Woodhouse and Vincent van der Voort to reach a first semi-final of 2019.
An eye-catching 110 average in a 7-1 rout against Jonny Clayton took him into the final, where he again averaged over 100, beating Raymond van Barneveld 8-3 to land the £10,000 top prize and his 25th PDC title.
For van Barneveld, who was eyeing a first PDC ranking tournament victory since 2013, it was a welcome return to the latter stages of an event. The Dutchman, who is retiring at the end of this season, clocked up back-to-back 100+ averages in victories over Martin Schindler and Jan Dekker, in the last 16 and quarter-finals, before edging past Keegan Brown 7-6 in the semi-finals.
On Saturday, Dave Chisnall claimed his second PDC title of the season with victory in Players Championship 7. The world number 11, who opened his account in 2019 by winning Players Championship 2 last month, averaged 101.22 for the day.
Chisnall’s route to the title saw him beat Davy van Baelen, Ritchie Edhouse, Stephen Bunting, Rob Cross, Vincent van der Voort, Mark McGeeney and Daryl Gurney, 8-6 in the final. It was Chisnall’s 14th PDC title of his career.
The fourth weekend of ProTour action on the PDC calendar this year had begun on Friday with the latest double-header of qualifiers for upcoming European Tour events. Among the qualifiers for the German Darts Grand Prix (ET3) and German Darts Open (ET4), which both take place next month, there were eight players who managed to qualify for both.
Steve Beaton, who is four from four in the European Tour Qualifiers so far in 2019, Stephen Bunting, Kyle Anderson, Chris Dobey, Brendan Dolan, Jamie Hughes, Ted Evetts and Gabriel Clemens all qualified for both events.
It was a particularly memorable day for Evetts, who the previous weekend won two events on the Development Tour to top the Order of Merit, hitting a nine-dart finish, while Ritchie Edhouse also completed a perfect leg.
BRITISH DARTS ORGANISATION
Over in the Netherlands, it was Dutch double delight for home favourite Martijn Kleermaker, who won the West Fries Open and West Fries Masters this weekend.
Ranked 33 on the BDO men’s rolling rankings, Kleermaker won his maiden ranking title on Saturday, beating Nick Kenny 3-1 in the final, with a 95 average. And then the following day the tall Dutchman doubled his tally by picking up the Masters crown, whitewashing Wesley Harms 3-0 in the decider.
Kirsty Hutchinson also won her first BDO ranking title, defeating Laura Turner 5-2 in the ladies final of the West Fries Open on Saturday. Deta Hedman picked up the West Fries Masters crown, seeing off Sharon Prins 5-1. Sunday’s play also saw Mike De Decker hit a nine-dart finish.
JUNIOR DARTS CORPORATION
Leighton Bennett‘s stock continues to rise as the 13-year-old won both JDC titles in Solihull on Saturday. The reigning BDO world youth champion picked up a tournament win in both of the opening two weekends of the tour, and took his tally of titles to four this weekend. After whitewashing James Beeton in the final of Event 5, Bennett then completed the double with a victory against Beeton in the Event 6 decider.
Listen to episode 96 of the Weekly Dartscast! Co-hosts Alex Moss and Burton DeWitt are joined by two of the leading players in the BDDA, as Snowy Dyson and Ricky Chilton call into the show.