Column #CM53 PDC World Championships – day two and the first woman ever on the PDC circuit

PDC

Monday, December 17, 2018
Column CM53
PDC World Championships – day two and the first woman ever on the PDC circuit

The second tournament day was more or less “womanless“ but before I share what happened on stage let me present to you a woman who, although she didn’t manage to qualify for this year’s World Championship, nevertheless played and plays a huge part in women’s darts and in the PDC as she was the first woman who competed for several years on the PDC circuit: Deta Hedman.

Before she joined the PDC Hedman had been very successful on the BDO circuit and had been from 1994 to 1997 the ladies #1 in the world. Due to work commitments she withdrew from darts 1997 and reappeared 2002 on the PDC circuit. In the same year, she won the women’s event at the Las Vegas Desert Classic. In 2004 and 2005, she qualified for the UK Open. In 2005, she defeated both Aaron Turner and Norman Fletcher during the tournament and made history as she was the first ever woman who defeated a male player during a televised tournament. In 2007, Hedman for the second time withdrew due to work commitments and upone her return in 2009 she started to play in the BDO again. After she had won several open events she qualified in 2010 for her first BDO Women’s World Championship. Since her return, Hedman once again tops the women’s rankings and has taken part in every World Championship. But despite her winning every year a lot of tournaments until now she never managed to really perform at Lakeside. On three occasions so far she reached the final, but lost every time. Hedman played the UK women’s qualifier fort his year’s PDC World Championship but lost in the semi-finals to Maria O’Brien.

So, back to the players who did qualify for this year’s world championship – in this case to Michael Barnard who qualified by the Pro Tour Order of Merit and to Portuguese Jose de Sousa the South/West European qualifier who opened the afternoon session of the second day with an epic match. Barnard dominated the first two sets while de Sousa took some time to settle on stage and get into the match. Barnard is quite a slow thrower – it might be that affected de Sousa as well. Barnard started with a 180, de Sousa threw his first in the second leg of the second set and followed it up with another one. But he had some trouble to win the leg and that exactly was his problem throughout the match. While he scored really well he had a lot of double trouble – the reason in the end that he lost the match, as Barnard was quite clinical with his doubles. But Barnard couldn’t keep up his performance of the first two sets and de Sousa managed to level. In the deciding set a deciding leg was required – in which de Sousa again couldn’t find his doubles while Barnard hit his to get over the finish line. The match had an unexpected stoppage when suddenly a loud whistling sound filled the venue followed by some king of hissing. Then several times a stormy wind sewpt over the stage such that the players were not able to throw their darts.

Quite similar to the first match was the second match between Alan Tabern and the Australian Raymond Smith. Tabern soon was 2-0 in the lead because the Australian had a very slow start into the match. But Smith managed to level 2-2 and the match went into a deciding set which Tabern won quite commandingly. Nice to see the Saint back on the stage!

Match number three was between Paul Nicolson and Kevin Burness and it didn’t look good for the very tense Nicholson from the start. Fronm the outset he was not able to throw reasonable scores. The first leg was almost over when it suddenly got dark in the venue and players and officials left the stage. Luckily it didn’t take long until the players could get on with their match and, strange enough, Nicholson – for a short time – threw really good darts starting with a 180 as his first throw after the break (perhaps evidence that his problems are more in his head). Burness could celebrate a 3-0 win and Nicholson left the stage without his darts…

The last match of the afternoon was the Second Round match between Jamie Lewis and Cody Harris, an astonishingly evenly contest. Lewis dominated at the start but Harris came back and levelled 2-2. Another deciding set was necessary which Lewis won. It was the best match of the afternoon with good performances from both players.

After the break, Danny Noppert vs. Royden Lam opened the evening session. And this first match set the tone for this session – which was quite different from the afternoon session as most of those matches were rather one sided. Danny Noppert played to a 96.32 average, the highest of the day and had no problems at all to steam roll Royden Lam. Should Noppert play similarly against Max Hopp it will be a rather hard match for the German #1.

The next match ended 3-0 as well – for Ted Evetts, though the statistics don’t show the reason for it. And it didn’t feel during the match that Ted Evetts was so dominant, as Simon Stevenson played quite well too. Probably as so often is the case the doubles made the difference – Evetts was just a little bit better.

Match number three between Chris Dobey and Boris Koltsov was a clearly one sided one – both statistically and felt. Koltsov didn’t play good and had no chance at all against a solid playing Dobey – Koltsov won only two legs.

For the last match of the night Gary Anderson walked on stage to face the impressive playing Irishman Kevin Burness. Burness had won 3-0 over Paul Nicholson and he didn’t look like he was intimidated by Gary Anderson. I suppose it is not by chance that his nickname is Ironman. And so… Anderson had his problems – after he had won the first set in his usual express-train speed he lost the second set to Burness. One could almost see how Anderson started to think – that possibly he had underestimated his opponent. So, he decided to gear up a little bit and conclude it, perhaps not spectacularly but effectively. A solid 3-1 win for one of the favourites.

Anderson had overcome his first hurdle of the tournament.

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Charis Mutschler
The founder of Global Darts, darts journalist Charis Mutschler hails from Marbach, near Stuttgart, Germany. A regular at most major PDC tournaments, a lover of literature, dance and music and cats, Charis' popular writings about darts and its players often transcend the usual. She brings something unique to the chroniclers of the sport we all love.
Charis Mutschler

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