Column #HR336 IT’S the SOUTH, Y’ALL – but first…

Wednesday, March 31, 2022
Column HR3365
It’s the SOUTH, Y’ALL – but first…

When a Southerner says, “Well, bless your sweet heart” they mean “Shame on you. You are dumber than a fence post turtle.”

FREE ANA:  Chuck Hudson, smarter than any fence post turtle, writes: …strange days we live in.  A dude can keep his junk, identify as a female to compete in women’s sport. Meanwhile, the non-political, non-profit World Darts Federation can identify as political terrorists and ban Russians from their events for something they have no part in. 

The WDF’s taken the extra step to be non-profit.  They’ve sold only 650 tickets for the first two days of their “world championship” tournament which begins on Saturday April 2.  The following Monday?  A grand total of 200 of the 2,788 available.  Bless their sweet hearts.

Southern Canada’s Kim Whaley Hilts has been a top darts player for some years.  Now, she’s overshadowed by husband Wally.  He did a Grammy worthy reedition of the Keith Whitley song “When you say nothing at all.”

Dedicated to Kim?  Check it out at https://youtu.be/q4SBxIocf8M.

Honey Muffin, Russ Lopez, has signed a contract with the Bottelsen Darts Company for a line of signature (both soft and steel) darts.  Lopez, a many time Capped International for the USA, is a great Ambassador for the sport – and buys lunch.

Now to Rotterdam, a province of South Holland.  Ten thousand orange-shirted fans greeted Michael van Gerwen as he stepped to the oche against Michael Smith in the 4th Premier League match of the night. The first three all ended in 6-5 scored.

Peter Wright fell behind James Wade 3-1, fighting back to level at 4 and then 5.  The decider was won by Wright when after he missed tops Wade followed but also missed tops on a 101 finish. Second time was the charm for Wright and a 6-5 win.   Jonny Clayton got a 6-5 win as Gerwyn Price missed only one finish – that tops from 106.  Clayton took out 40.

Joe Cullen came from 3-5 down to level Gary Anderson at 5.  The decider just maybe lit a fire under Anderson’s backside.  He craved 77 as Cullen needed 312.   Anderson failed, having 6 to close including 4 from 40.  Cullen went T80, 58, then 74-out for the 6-5 win.  Anderson has been known to get the “RA.” This time he alleged that Cullen cheated.  New nickname: “Gary “The Crying Scot.”

Michael van Gerwen jumped to a 1-nil lead which he never relinquished wining 6-5 over Michael Smith.  Smith did have a shadow of hope when he drew level at 5 in 14 darts.  van Gerwen answered that in 13 for the win.  Joe Cullen, who has yet to win, got to the finals in a match against Peter Wright that both would like to forget.  The pair combined for 10 of 32 on the outer ring.  Cullen used 13 for the 6-4 win.

Michael van Gerwen broke on top 2-nil in the final.  In time it became a 3-3 tie when van Gerwen leveled with a smooth 20-darter.  The next three went into the van Gerwen column in 12, 15 and 12 darts.  Cullen then got the 6-5 win using 2 of his 7 T80s in the decider for 24-darter which should have been 12.

The 317 darters at the 35th annual Virginia Beach Classic were in for a marathon with the cream of tungsten-tossers present.  It was a Massachusetts Yankee, Ms. Carolyn Mars, who stole the show.  She opened with a 6-2 win over Liz Tynan in the women’s pro cricket.  Mars teamed up with Dustin Holt and Cody Willis to hang a 3-1 defeat on Stowe Buntz, Leonard Gates and Paula Murphy in the mixed trips.  The leg lost by Mars & Company saw their opponent miss 9 doubles but still win the leg.

Carolyn Mars teamed with Liz Tynan to take the women’s ’01 doubles 2-1 over Paula Murphy and Dani Warmack in a match that was pretty much devoid of scoring with only four scores of 100 (three of them Tons by Murphy).

Paula Murphy, the Titian Tornado, was in full-gale force on Sunday when cricket took center stage.  She was simply unbeatable going 19-0 (in legs) in winning the women’s cricket singles 4-0 over Cali West.  The women’s cricket doubles was a replay as Murphy and Dani Warmack never dropped a leg, including the final where they bested Shea Cole and Bonnie Wei.  On their way to the final Murphy/Warmack scored a payback “bitch slapping” (as recently made famous by Will Smith) of Liz Tynan/Carolyn Mars, who beat them in the ’01 doubles.

Marlise Kiel broke the Mars/Murphy domination when she won the ladies ’01 singles 4-0 over Brittany Edgett – where Edgett was denied any double.

With a men’s field jammed-packed tighter than a Tokyo subway with quality players it was Jason “Let’s Go Brandon” who emerged the winner of the ’01 singles over 235 others.  On his way to see Soldier Gates in the final he defeated Dustin Holt (3-1) and Danny Lauby (3-2).  That loss temporally sidetracked Lauby’s chance at a singles double as he won the pro cricket 6-0 over Gates.  Lauby would get that double with a 4-0 win in the men’s cricket singles.

In the ’01 final Gates set the bar high opening with the darts in 12.  They would level at 2 when “Let’s Go” checked 111.  Brandon got the lead in 14 darts (T40, T34, T40).  Gates drew level using a T80 on the way to erasing 48, forcing a decider.  Brandon needed T60 to deny Gates a three dart shot at 70.  Done deal and the 4-3 win.

The South can celebrate the return of the of the Ghost on the Coast Tournament in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, after a 2-year hiatus.  The prize fund of $25,000 includes purse, MVP awards and costume contest winners.  It’s just happenstance that the date, October 28-30, is Halloween weekend.

Heck, it’s just like going to a PDC event.

What’s not to like?  Beverages, darts and costumes with the chance of singing off key a distinct possibility.  One can almost hear readers thinking of the ODC, “Well, bless his sweet heart.”

Last but not least, a quick close today with Players Championship results from Niedernhausen, Germany, located in South Hesse.  Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen scooped up titles.

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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