Column #301 Barneveld Sizzles!

July 9, 2007
Column 301
Barneveld Sizzles!

There may be a heat wave outside but there ain’t nothin’ on the Las Vegas strip that’s sizzled more this week than current world champion, Raymond van Barneveld, has inside the Mandalay Resort and Casino here at the Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) sixth annual Las Vegas Desert Classic.

In the words of Yogi Berra, “It was like déjà vu all over again” today as Barneveld and Terry “the Bull” Jenkins faced off in a repeat of their Player’s Championship final just a week ago. The only difference (as the Player’s Championship came down to the final dart) is this time Barneveld left nothing to chance – throwing darts that were damn near from another dimension to clinch the contest in the nineteenth leg, 13-6.

Barneveld was no less spectacular in his semi final performance against former two time world champion, John Part. Barneveld broke Part’s throw straight away and, although Part broke back and then edged ahead 2-1, after ten legs Barneveld was sitting on a 102 average and was a perfect six for six at the double.

Barneveld continued his out-of-this world performance in the eleventh leg. Although Part, with the throw, fired a maximum, Barneveld replied in kind, broke the Canadian again, and edged to a 7-4 and then an 8-4 advantage. Part then held his throw, narrowing the gap to 8-5 but missed his opportunity to break Barneveld back, after Barneveld uncharacteristically missed three darts at tops. In the fifteenth leg, Part dug deep to narrow the deficit to just two legs but Barneveld dug even deeper – he swarmed Part in the sixteenth against the throw and then ended the contest in the next leg, 11-7.

This was an extraordinary match and the final score line does not do justice to the darts thrown by either player. Each averaged over one hundred for the match, Barneveld recorded fourteen 140s by just the seventh leg, and Part – although he came out on the losing end – might well have seen a different result had a couple of bull finishes early in the match found their mark instead of the green.

In the other semi final Terry Jenkins, despite popping off to a 7-2 advantage, had to fight off a patented Peter Manly comeback. Manley worked to within a whisker of Jenkins, narrowing the score to 9-8 after seventeen legs, but Jenkins responded with near perfection in the eighteenth, pounding two 180s to take the leg, and then finished the match off in the next.

In truth, the championship match was anti-climatic, holding little of the excitement of the semis final pairings. Barneveld was simply too powerful and too precise, knocking down finishes of 161 and 112 (twice) and at one point reeling off five unanswered legs of eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen darts. Barneveld then tossed in a thirteen darter to seal the victory and add another $40,000 to the $10,000 he pocketed after his defeat of Jenkins in the Player’s Championship.

Not a man alive could have stopped the world champion this day except, of course, the one and only, Dave ‘Boy’ Green. Perhaps next year he’ll actually show up.

From the Field,

Dartoid

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Dartoid
Author of the column that since 1995 has been featured by Bull’s Eye News, the American Darts Organization’s (ADO) Double Eagle and numerous other darts publications and websites around the globe.
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