Column #HR200 Some questions in life beg to be answered…
Saturday, June 4, 2017
Some questions in life beg to be answered…
For example, why would anyone in their right mind get up at 4:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning in Las Vegas, Nevada, to watch the second round of the PDC World Cup IV? The answer is simple: they wouldn’t. The Old Dart Coach did… so an intervention, or discovery of a real life, is required.
A burning question on social media is, “How much did the dislike between Scotland’s Gary Anderson and Peter Wright lend to their defeat at the hands of the Singapore Slingers?” Many have made the point that all-time greats Mr. John Lowe and Eric Bristow weren’t exactly “buddy-pal-amigo” yet they competed together successfully.
They did, but hardly ever when either had a choice. They had different of lifestyles. Different approaches to living. It wasn’t personal. Okay, maybe a little. With Anderson and Wright it’s personal. The comment that “they’re professionals” belies the fact that they’re also dart players which in the end negates all else.
Round 2 put the heavy emphasis on singles as the double would only come in to play if no team won both singles in the race to 2 points. The 8 losers would take home £4,000 while the 8 winners would move on for “Pride, Country and Money.”
The afternoon crowd was good but was surpassed in the evening as the locals showed up to root for the home country. They weren’t disappointed. Many fans hadn’t heard the news that Scotland was out as they came attired in Peter Wright “headgear” although with a lot of orange which would suggest some Netherlands fans.
The ODC predicted that some team would put their second player first in hopes of stealing a game. Some tired with no discernible positive results.
First out, Greece did just that putting Ioannis Selachoglou against Kim Huybrechts. It almost worked as Selachoglou against the throw missed 3 at d10 to level at 3 legs. His misses opened the door for the Kim Huybrechts’ win 4-3. The ODC also said that Ronny Huybrechts would have to kick it up. Boy did he ever, beating John Michael 4-0 with a scoring average over 110. The Brother’s Hybrechts were 8 for 26 on doubles with Ronny going 4-5.
Northern Ireland had their chances before falling 2-0 to #4 Wales. At 3-all, the door opened for Wales’ Gerwyn Price after Mick McGowan missed 2 darts for the match. In the decider the two went at doubles like it was a “no fly zone.” Finally, Price nailed d2 after the pair combined 15 darts at the double. The late Sid Waddell used to say of darts, “It’s a funny old game.” The singles between Mark Webster and William O’Conner was that and more. With the match tied at 3, O‘Conner was on 40 when Webster took 81 with 19, 12, BULL for the win 4-3. #4 Wales advances.
It would be impossible to accurately describe the singles match between Aussie Kyle Anderson and Ruskie Aleksandr Oreshkin. But try this. Oreshkin, whose throwing style resembles a drunk falling, won 4-2 with only one leg going with the darts. The winning leg for Oreshkin was T40, T80, T24 to leave 57. Then 17, miss, and fat 20. With 20 remaining Oreshkin went 10, miss, d5.
Russia’s Boris Koltsov opened with a 12-darter, including a 138-check, against Simon Whitlock. From that point on it was all Whitlock who took 4 on the trot for the 4-1 win. On to the doubles decider. The Ruskies opened a can of “WA,” hammering the Aussies 4-0. The win included a bull out by Oreshkin. Aussie Karl Anderson was horrid. Russia will meet Wales in the quarter finals where they, again, will be the underdog. Watch out – dogs bite.
The Singapore Sizzle continued when Paul Lim hung a 4-0 whitewash on Spain’s Antonio Alcinas. Alcinas did have 2 at a double to win the first leg. He missed and then Paul Lim took out 112 and the rout was on. Spain’s Cristo Reyes spanked “Lim the Younger” 4-1 forcing a deciding doubles. Jerry Reed recorded the hit, “When You’re Hot You’re Hot” and that describes Singapore – they are on fire. Harith Lim redeemed himself when he took 3 of the 4 outs required as Singapore moves forward. One of Harith’s finishes, from 56, was 16, 2 d19. Thank you kindly. Singapore will play Belgium in the quarters.
Austria dominated Canada with Mensur Suljovic cruising to a 4-nil win over three-times world champion John Part. Rowby-John Rodriguez was on the way to a nil win but got caught up in more John Norman Jr. silliness. He survived 4-3.
The crowd came to see Germany advance to the quarter finals. They weren’t disappointed. What they didn’t see was drama. Germany’s Martin Schindler dispatched Alexandre Sattin 4-nil. Max Hopp should have had the same score but after jumping to a 3-0 lead, which included a 161-check, he stalled out. Still winning 4-1 works.
The Adrian Lewis that showed up put the hammer down on South African “Dancing” Devon Peterson with 4-0 win. Lewis was not the same person that struggled when England beat Gibraltar in Round 1. The best thing about the game was it took less than15 minutes. It was a mercy killing. Dave Chisnell completed the “bagel job” with 4-0 over Deon Oliver.
Anytime a player faces “Marvelous” Michael van Gerwen – when a double pops up it best be hit. Darin Young didn’t so ended up losing 4-2 in a match that was there for the taking. Larry Butler jumped out to a 3-nil lead against Raymond van Barneveld with closes of d4, a 109-check, and a Shanghai on the 20s (the latter once achieved by the ODC in Pattaya, Thailand, aided by copious amounts of aiming fluid). Barney came back as Butler faltered to as get it to 3-2 with the darts. When Barney missed 3, Butler took out 95 on the bull for the 4-2 win against the five times world champion. The deciding doubles saw the USA trying to stop Super-Chief with a burned out match. Netherlands romped 4-0 and moves on to meet Germany.
The quarter final combatants begin to toe the oche just a couple hours from now at 5:00 a.m. Las Vegas time with the same format of the first team to 2 moving on. The losing players will pocket £7,000.
The quarter finals…
Singapore vs. Belgium: Singapore’s on a roll but the Brother Hybrechts now look tough in this part of the draw. Have picked against Singapore to this point. For the guys from the “Lion” nation it’s worked out well… but take Belgium for the 2-1 win.
Wales (#4) vs. Russia: Wales will only have trouble with Russia if Mark Webster has a bad day. If it weren’t for Singapore, Russia would be the Cinderella Team. But sometimes the shoe doesn’t fit. Wales moves on 2-0
England (#2) vs. Austria: England could have trouble with Austria if Rowby-John Rodriguez can shows the maturity lacking in second round play. England has yet to be tested and probably won’t be here. It will likely will go to the doubles but England will advance 2-1.
Netherlands (#3) vs. Germany: Netherlands will find a hostile crowd when they take the stage against Germany. Barney will be booed for the first time ever in Germany. Max Hopp and Martin Schindler will have to play the games of their lives. Netherlands still feels the sting from their loss in the finals to England last year. They’ll take this one.
That puts Belgium against Wales in one semi final with England and Netherlands in the other.
Am going with Belgium and Netherlands in the finals.
The final starts at 11:00 a.m. Las Vegas time and consists of 2 singles best of 7, a doubles best of 7, and if no team has 3 points a reverse singles. The ODC took Netherlands from the start so is sticking with them here. That is if Barney doesn’t gets tired, as he sometimes does. If he does, then Belgium could spring the upset.
After Singapore’s win Harith Lim said, “Paul Lim has been my idol since Iwas15 years old.”
Harith, you’re in a big worldwide club now!
Stay thirsty my friends.