Column #HR325 GEEZER TOUR ARRIVES… NORTH AMERICA “P O”!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Column HR325
GEEZER TOUR ARRIVES… NORTH AMERICA “P O”!

A story appeared in The News Shopper (Lewisham) in the year 1991 about the monthly singles darts at the Sydney Arms of London.  The Governor?  One Roger Nickson.  Nickson arguably had as much, if not more, impact on London darts than anybody – and he has never been one to boast to the world how great he was. If you’re good people know it.  His pubs (Morning Star, Cricketers and Sydney Arms) were home to some if the best players in England.

The story reports, we could have seen the emergence of yet another high clash teenager.  Peter Wright, from Woolwich, playing in his first ever tournament, took all the entrants to task and evenly beat the class of Roy Regan in a see-saw final 4-3.

Regan passed on some years ago.  Some claim this was due to his playing doubles and league games with the Old Dart Coach in Reno and Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

In the coming days the past and present will collide. The PDC Masters, running January 28-30, arrives in Milton Keys.  No longer a teenager, a little longer in the tooth, now painted up like Crusty the Clown, a world champion and a favorite to win the PDC’s first major is that “high clash teen ager” Peter Wright.   From the old Virginia Slims tennis tour, “You’ve come a long way baby.”

Expect #1 seed Gerwyn Price to play Jonny Clayton in the round of 8 before meeting James Wade in the semifinals. #2 Wright is on the other side of the draw with a slightly easier path to the final four.  At the juncture of 8 he’ll have to beat either slightly off form Michael van Gerwen or erratic Gary Andersen. The ODC would pick Price as the likely winner after his heartbreaking loss in the World Championships where match darts went array.

Then, February 3-6, the first event of the 2022 World Seniors Dart Tour takes to the stage at the Circus Tavern – fabled in the dart history of the PDC as the site of the PDC World Championships from 1994 until 2007.  The 2007 final involved Phil Taylor against Raymond van Barneveld.  van Barneveld was the King of the BDO as one of those who chose not to join the PDC.

In 2006, van Barneveld jumped ship joining the PDC.  His critics claimed he became a world champion playing against inferior BDO talent.  They were forced to eat their words – like Mr. Lector, possibly with fava beans, a nice Chianti and (knowing the English) maybe lots of ketchup or A1…

Starting from scratch in the rankings, by the end of the year Barney was number #2 behind Phil Taylor.  At the 2007 Championship, Taylor was giving him a right proper hiding 3 -nil.  Barney made a remarkable comeback, tying at 6 sets to force a sudden death leg.  Barney would win breaking a streak of 11 world championship on the trot for Taylor.

Will Barney and Taylor meet in the 2022 Senior World Championships?  No way Jose’ as Barney has rejoined the PDC.  But what a story that would make.  The Circus would be jammed to capacity at 1,100.

Although for North American fans the matchups make little difference.  Finding a stream in North America is slightly harder than Chinese Arithmetic.  The ODC contacted players entered in regard to viewing. One answered, “It’s on BBC IPlayer via VPN.” The ODC went to that sight but gave up, deciding to continue his easier quest to “understand the female thought process.”

Another entrant went the extra step.  “Spoke with the organizer – he says, no interest in USA.”  American translation?  “Piss Off Yanks.”  The person added, “Maybe Mr. Hearn realized they missed out.”  Maybe true…

Had they booked this event it would give them more product for PDC-TV, a big plus.  On the other hand, the PDC has said “Piss Off” to North America for a long time.

The “random” draw would seem to favor Phil Taylor, Mr. John Lowe, Bob Anderson or either John Part or Keith Deller.  For others?  A drink before and a cigarette after.   Take the words “random draw” with a grain of salt, a shot of 1800 and a lime.

Taylor should breeze until the round of 4, if he gets by Peter “One Dart” Manley who should dispatch an injured Deta “The Queen” Hedman in round one.  Taylor has a lot of pride, so he’ll be primed and ready.  For him this is not a one off at the local, a Monday afternoon pie and chips included.

The death quadrant has Mr. John Lowe meting Bob Anderson in the round of 8.  That assumes that Mr. Lowe will take out Paul Lim or qualifier Dave Prins.  Lim, who has played Mr. Lowe numerous times, could win his opener.  Should Lim advance he could give Mr. Lowe, the oldest gentleman in the event, a run for the money.  Lim at a mere 68, (Happy Birthday!) is second oldest.

John Part has the draw to reach the round of 8 with his current form standing in the way.  His Tour Card Qualifier was substandard.   JP would say, “an understatement.”   A turnaround is necessary.  John Walton or Wayne Warren with the win to play Part.  The other side favors either Terry Jenkins or Roland Scholten who meet in round 1.  That winner would play Lisa Ashton who became available when she failed to win a tour card.

Keith Deller, who became a world champion in 1983 with the “now famous” 138-check after Eric Bristow passed up a shot at the bull for the title, has the draw but his level of darts is questionable.  Like many of the seniors he has been out of competitive darts for a long time.  If Larry Butler (recent Chicago Dart Players Champ) gets by Alan Warner-Little he could take it to Deller sending him home straight away.

After some 950 words, the conclusion is the ODC has no idea who will win the first Seniors event.  Common sense has stepped in so the ODC, aka Captain Oblivious, will suggest that none of those mentioned as getting “mother-in-law draws” will win.  Like the Senior Golf Tour there’s someone who has gotten better while the competition has declined.  Is there’s a Bernhard Langer lurking out there?

The ODC does know he was right when he said, “Behind every successful women stands a good man.” Fallon Sherrock validated his opinion when she posted, partner Cameron Menzies – he is so supportive.  It is quite nice to have someone who is willing to help.  I haven’t had the support since everything happened.  I can chill out.

(Editor’s note: the ODC is temporarily in the Witness Protection Program.)

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.
Howie Reed

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