Column #188 Carver Carves “The Heat” and Young Hammers “The Hammer”
June 30, 2005
Carver Carves “The Heat” and Young Hammers “The Hammer”
I’m compelled this morning to begin by making two apologies.
First: to Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) tournament director Tommy Cox: I am sorry for skipping out on my marking responsibilities after yesterday’s final qualifier. You were right to admonish me. I just think the cattle prod to my groin was a bit over the top.
Second, to the MGM Corporation: I apologize for certain comments and incitements I made in my third Desert Classic IV report. You may not be aware of them because PDC officials correctly edited them out of the first several paragraphs of my report. I agree with their decision. Your sponsorship of the event is crucial to its success and future. My intention was not malicious. It was certainly not to jeopardize the relationship between the PDC and the MGM.
NOTE TO READERS: Anyone following the Dartoid reports at the PDC site who is interested in reading the remarks in question please feel free too click to the Dartoid’s World website.
SPECIAL NOTE TO THE MGM: What the HELL is it with the price of beer in this joint!
Two of the four American men still standing yesterday are still standing today here in the City of Sin and Entertainment, where prime rib dinners cost less than a tank of gasoline but taste about the same. None of the American stars disappointed. Only twelve times world champion Phil Taylor did that — by producing only two perfect games and a 164 points per throw average during his two set to zip shellacking of Mark “Mr. Boosh” Holden. Boosh was smooshed.
The day kicked off with two times world champion John Part’s 11:00 a.m. match-up with England’s Darren “The Sniper” Webster. Part (who I consider an honorary American because I can understand him when he speaks) moved into his stride immediately with a maximum off the mark. Although Webster had a look at an out to force a third set, Part’s power prevailed (he produced four 180s during the twenty minute match) and he dispatched Webster 2-0 with relative ease.
Erik Clarys then took out world ranked number eleven Alan Warriner (despite a crowd-pleasing 170-out by Warriner in the second set) to become the first Belgian to ever reach the second round of the Desert Classic finals.
Tennessee’s George Walls was the first American to step on stage but could only shake his head and smile in resignation as England’s Wes Newton steamrolled over him without dropping a leg.
In matches four through six England battled England and England won ‘em all. Kevin Painter painted Adrian Lewis, who is now totally broke and planning to swim home across the Atlantic. James Wade upset world ranked number three Ronnie Baxter 2-1. And in the battle of the Andys – Jenkins and Smith – Jenkins, ranked number ten in the world, came out the better 2-0.
At 2:00 p.m., Freeland, Pennsylvania’s Darin “Big Daddy” Young climbed under the lights to face yet another British Andy –“The Hammer” Hamilton. Unfortunately for Hamilton, this day it was Young with the hammer in his hand. In a slow-throwing and unexciting match (at least for the foreigners in the crowd), the only thing that shined more than Young’s darts was the top of his head. The Hammer was hammered by Young 2-0, winning only one leg during the ordeal.
The Netherlands’ Roland “Tripod” Scholten, world ranked number four, then easily sent England’s Chris “Mace the Ace” Mason back to the cheap seats. Roland rolled over him with Mason offering little more than a whimper in return.
Next on the docket was a HELL OF A MATCH between America’s Ray Carver and England’s Denis “The Heat” Ovens, currently ranked number nine in the world, and I must say Carver looked both serious and snazzy in his new custom shirt with his digitized signature on the back. The somewhat subdued audience came to life when Ovens and Carver walked onto the stage.
After a slow start and losing the first two legs, Carver hit his well-known stride, slamming in a crowd pleasing maximum and then just missing a 164 close (nipping the wrong side of bull) — but Ovens closed 82 to take the set.
But Carver hung in tough and kept the pressure on Ovens, opening the second set with another 180 and closing well throughout to even the match at a set all.
In the final set Ovens turned the heat up. But Carver pulled out his carving knife. The match seesawed into the final leg and to the final dart with both combatants unable to find the double. After three handfuls each it was Carver who finally found the mark, putting The Heat on ice until another day.
Taylor then smooshed Mr. Boosh.
In the final event featuring an American qualifier, America’s Johnny “K” Kuczynski butted heads with Phil Taylor protégé Adrian Grey in a match that had the hometown crowd on their feet. Kuczynski came out on the severe short end of the first set, never really getting untracked and due in part to three unlucky triple twenty bounce outs, subduing his fans for the moment.
He approached the line with confidence however, as the second set got underway and jumped on a 119 checkout to break Grey’s throw straight away. Kuczynski then started with maximum, continued strong, confidence growing with every dart, and soundly tucked the second set under his belt to even up the match.
As with the Carver vs. Ovens battle, the match came down to the final dart of the final leg. But this time it was Kuczynski who was disappointed not to find the double, despite chances, allowing Grey to advance in the competition.
So moving on for America into the Round Two of the finals are Darin Young and Ray Carver. Not a soul who watched the action will underestimate their chances of going further.
In other play, which may be of interest to somebody in some country somewhere, Colin Lloyd defeated Steve Hine, Canada’s Gerry Convery lost to Alex Roy (who stomped me yesterday), Andy Callaby knocked off Mark Dudbridge, Peter Manley went down to Mark Wash (who stomped me the day before yesterday), and Lionel Sams lost a match he should have won to Wayne Mardle.
When the sun rises it begins all over again. The draw is done. Sixteen darters remain. Eight matches will determine which eight darters will take the stage for Quarter Final play on Friday. The pairings with my predictions are as follows:
Alex Roy versus Kevin Painter: Painter will paint Roy black and blue.
Colin Lloyd versus Erik Clarys: Waffles baby! Waffles!
Ray Carver versus Adrian Gray: Carver will continue to carve.
Roland Scholten versus James Wade: A three-legged walk in the park.
Darin Young versus John Part: Add some syrup to them there waffles.
Wayne Mardle versus Andy Callaby: Callaby will hurdle the Mardle.
Mark Walsh versus Wes Newton: Walsh will wash the fig.
Phil Taylor versus Andy Jenkins: Say goodnight to the last Andy standing.
And goodnight again to all of you too.
From the Field,
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