Column #CM117 30 years of PDC World Championships – also a 30th “anniversary” for Barney!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Column CM117
30 years of PDC World Championships – also a 30th “anniversary” for Barney!

This year the the PDC celebrates it 30th World Championship anniversary.

Raymond van Barneveld, as well, celebrates his 30th anniversity – for the the thirtieth time he takes part in a World Championship.  It is per chance that it falls on the same date – but to be sure the Dutchman isn’t taking part for the thirtieth time in the PDC World Championship.  

Raymond van Barneveld started his carreer in the BDO World Championship 1991 where he lost first round to Australian Keith Sullivan.  He returned in 1993 losing this time in the second round to John Lowe who went on to win the tournament 6-3 against Alan Warriner. The following year van Barneveld missed the BDO World Championship and the Netherlands was represented by Roland Scholten. From 1995 onwards, Barney took part every year until he switched to the PDC after he lost in the final of the 2006 BDO World Championship to Jelle Klaasen.  van Barneveld won his first title in 1998 and he defeated Richie Burnett to whom he had lost in the final 1995.

With this first win of Raymond van Barneveld in the BDO World Championship the darts boom in the Netherlands started. The sport bloomed and as a result the number of Dutch participants in both World Championships grew.

The history of the PDC World Championship started in 1994 with the first World Championship after the split of the WDC players from the BDO.  You can find them all still among the field of participants in the 1993 BDO World Championship – though already at that time there was a lot of tension.

The number of participants in this first PDC World Championship in 1994 was, compared to today, very small: there were only 24 participants, 14 of them from England (including the reigning BDO World Champion John Lowe and the runner-up Alan Warriner), two Scottish players, one Irishman and seven Americans.  The first few World Championships were played in a group-phase followed by the K.O. phase and there still existed a match for the third place.

In 1994 Dennis Priestley won the World Championship.  He defeated Phil Taylor 6-1 – who later dominated for many years.  Priestley’s average was 92.85 – not high compared to what the top players throw today but at that time a solid average. The highest average in that first World Championship was scored by Peter Evison with 97.55.

Not much changed in the composition of the field of participants over the next few years – most of the participants were Englishman, the second biggest group were the US Americans.  In 1996, the first Canadian appeared with Gary Mawson and thereafter at least one Canadian can be found in the field of participants.  In 1999, the format changed into K.O. throughout and for the first time some kind of  “exotic” participant took part – Paul Lim who in this year for the first time no longer represented America but Singapore instead.

It took until 2000 before a Dutchman qualified for a PDC World Championship, though when you look closely he was not really a Dutchman but a Spaniard who represented the Netherlands and lived there – Braulio Roncero.  Two years before Roncero had been among the participants at the BDO World Championship and he was part of the Dutch national team together with Raymond van Barneveld, Co Stompe and Roland Scholten. In 1996, van Barneveld and Roncero stood in the final of the pairs event of the Europe Cup.

Roncero only took part this one time in the PDC World Championship and never again in the BDO World Championship – but several times in the World Masters and until 2010, from time to time, in PDC Players Championships.  He passed away in 2018.

Braulio Roncero lost 2-3 in the first round of the 2000 PDC World Championship to t Dennis Priestley, his average was 88.77.  With this he easily would have kept up with many of this year’s first round matches…

Not much is known about Roncero but one can find a video on YouTube of his appearance in the 1998 BDO World Championship 1998. There he played first round against Bobby George and lost.

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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.