Column #HR10 World Series of Darts Festival… Par Cuatro

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Column HR10
World Series of Darts Festival… Par Cuatro

Ernest Hemingway wrote the novel “The Sun Also Rises.” For reasons unknown there was never a work titled “The Sun Also Sets.” Missed opportunities some might say… as the sun in Las Vegas set yesterday on the PDC portion of the Tropicana World Series of Darts Festival. With the best pro’s jetting back to their homelands the convention center is left to the players from North America as they compete for cash and Merit of Order North American rankings. This opportunity is after all what the more than 70 players from North American came for.

Yesterday there was work and cash to be won in the final day of the PDC Players Championship. For the second day in a row it was a “WOP” (without Phil) top four. Phil Taylor fell to Matt Clark 6-5 so Taylor’s Las Vegas venture was over for 2010.

One of the signs of a “major darts tournament” are a number of round tables where players and fans alike can sit, maybe have a beverage and talk. On this day the question arose, “When would you like to play Phil Taylor?” Among the pros assembled the opinion’s ranged from first round and on. Some opined that “It doesn’t matter. Anyone can be beaten.” Finally there was but one voice that had yet to be heard. “I’d like to meet him in the final. Second place pay’s better that last.” A light at the end of the tunnel…

It was a day of darts that tested the mental and physical strength of the players as for some PDC players it was the last chance to get even with Vegas. When the day was over Dutchman Co Stompe would be declared the champion after a 6-3 win over James Wade. Stomp reached the finals with a 6-0 win over Matt Clark who had removed Phil Taylor in the previous match 6-5. In yesterday’s action Chris Thompson took out Taylor and then fell in the next round 6-2 without making a serious run. Number #3 James Wade had his best results day of the Festival reaching the finals by eliminating Simon Whitlock (6-4) and Colin Lloyd (6-3). Stompe, who joined the PDC just 2 years ago, capped for him what was a pretty darn good week. Added to his runner-up spot in Sunday’s Cricket the always smiling Dutchman will carry more than $13,476.58 back to the Land of Canal’s and Cannabis. Stompe fell behind 1-0 to Wade but quickly recovered taking the next four for a 4-1 lead. Wade answered back with 2 but that wasn’t enough as Stompe ran the next two for the win. Along with Wade’s semi finals placing in Sunday’s PDC US Open he left Vegas with more than $6,737.68.

Today the spotlight falls on players only from North America. The top 8 players will receive seeds headed by Canadian John Part as the leading North American player in the PDC Order of Merit. Part has not had a good Festival of Darts mainly because of not getting the break all players need along the way. He’s had the misfortune to draw the “hot player” at the wrong time. He’ll have to play to top form with the number #2 seed Darin Young playing at the top of his game. Young has had by far the best result of any North America players during the Festival. Philly’s Bill Davis, the likeable one, gets the third spot with Gary Mawson filling out the top four. As this seeding is based on a very limited number of results it would not be too much of a surprise to see any or all of the top seeds on the sidelines when the finals are played.

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.
Howie Reed

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