Column #HR147 The King ain’t dead… and the Queen, Anne Drtr, is alive (and living in Malaysia)

Thursday, August 26, 2015
Column HR147
The King ain’t dead… and the Queen, Anne Drtr, is alive (and living in Malaysia)

Sports fans the world over are a fickle lot. They will hate a player or team one day and then be shouting their parses the next. When the Old Dart Coach was playing bartender, he worked with a “crusty old curmudgeon” named Danny. One Sunday, a local dart team – the NADS – was celebrating a big victory in the bowling center where he worked, and they played. The bar had a jukebox but it always on low when Danny was walking the plank. As the beer flowed, one slow dancing darter – Sandy by name – approached the bar.

“Say, Danny, how about turning up the jukebox? We’re dancing and can’t hear it.”

“Kid, dance closer to the jukebox or dance out the door.”

Danny used to call the fickle sports fans “Fence Jumpers.” When Tiger Woods was on top of the golfing world, he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Then, when he ran afoul of a 6-iron  wielded by his now ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, and his golfing prowess went astray, he went from “the greatest ever” to “Tiger you suck.”

Last weekend, the “old” Tiger emerged from hibernation as, entering the final round of the Wyndham golf championship, he trailed the leader by only two strokes. He’d briefly held the lead during the penultimate round. The crowd was mind boggled as they jammed the fairways dying to shout “Vive le roi.” (Editor’s note: The saying was first uttered in 1422 upon the death of French king Charles VI and the ascendancy of Charles V11.)

On the 7th tee, Tiger hit a high fade hoping to fade it into the green. The ball was high and faded into the crowd. The crowd sighed saying, “El rey ha muerto.” The King is dead.

What does this have to do with darts? Good question.

For umpteen years Phil, Taylor was the king of darts and other assorted activities. Then along came “Marvelous” Michael van Gerwen and poor old King Phil got dumped like a “good habit” by the darting community. Bad habits never get dropped because they’re so darn much fun.

With the PDC going on their “search and destroy” mission to Australia, King Phil emerged as the Phil Taylor of old. Well maybe. Those familiar with Aussie darts know all of their major tournaments are called Masters. Heck, it’s their tournaments – they can call them any damn thing they want.

At the Perth Darts Masters, World Champion Gary Anderson was down 6-1 to former champ Adrian Lewis. He would come back to win 8-7. Enter Phil Taylor – who took out Anderson 10-5 and then reversed his Matchplay loss to James Wade, taking the title 11-7. Van Gerwen? He lost a nail bitter to Wade 10-9.

Then on to the Sydney Masters where Taylor took out Steven Bunting (8-2) – while also in the quarters, Raymond van Barneveld took out fellow Dutchman Michael van Gerwen, 8-4. Kudos to Adrian Lewis for taking out Barney 10-9 in the semis.

One oft-asked question is how long does it take for a “perfect game.” The ODC answered, “so far, 35 years and counting”…

For Phil Taylor against Peter Wright in the Sydney Masters semi-final, it took 84 seconds. With the score at 9-7 in the race to 10, Taylor did the deal. The final was anti-climactic with Taylor going through Adrian Lewis like a dose of salts, 11-3.

Do we hear “Vive le roi” King Phil?

If not a King reigning then how about a Queen? Pink sings, “The King is Dead but the Queen is Alive.”

The original Queen of Darts was the incomparable Maureen Flowers. In today’s darting landscape, it’s difficult, if not impossible, for women darters to get any traction. That’s especially true as the PDC has taken over the attention of the darting world.

Best known internationally is England’s Deta Hedman, one of the ODC’s all time favorites. In America, there are probably 8 or 10 ladies who deserve notice for their play. That taken as fact, none qualifies as a “Queen of Darts.”

Internationally, one of the most interesting ladies is Malaysia’s Rojali Mohd, called JALI or Anne Drtr if you’re so inclined. She may qualify.

She is a lady of many talents. One of her fellow Asian dart players says of her, “ The few times I’ve met her she’s okay. She’s not arrogant or any kind of weird attitude.”

That’s a good start.

Each country has its own darting community and built-in environment. That’s especially true in Asia where local achievements far out shadow the desire for international acclaim. Ms. Anne has done her share of wining with three major wins in 2015 and a WDF  ranking of #103. The world ranking number of #103 may not open a lot of eyes, but taken in perspective it’s darn good. She is the third ranked Asian lady player, which is good considering the dearth of WDF tournaments in Asia.

The highest ranked Asian player is Japan’s Mayumi Ouchi at #45. Anne met her in the finals of the Maluri International, taking second. Not too Chablis. Ms. Drtr has traveled to the Philippines, Hong Kong and Thailand to play with some success. She was part of the 2014 Malaysian Team at the Asia/Pacific Cup team in Hong Kong.

When she talks of favorite players the names of Phil “The Power King” Taylor, Anastasia “The Russian Fox” Dobromyslova and Deta “The Six Foot Chocolate Bar” Hedman lead the pack.

There can be no argument but that Anne is one of the better lady players in Asia, but this alone doesn’t set her apart from others…

What really distinguishes Anne Drtr is that she is one heck of a singer – and she’s not the type of singer who partakes in “let’s go to the pub, pound down the magic golden elixir and sing karaoke.” Naw. Naw. Anne is an “honest to God stand in front of a band and belt her baby heart out” singer.

Ladies and gentleman, the ODC gives you “Anne Drtr in Concert”…

If you think anything but “WOW” pack it in. She is the best dart playing singer in the world. Bar none.

Stay thirsty my friends.

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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.

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