Column #HR365 A Week in the Netherlands

Friday, December 9, 2022
Column HR385
A Week in the Netherlands

The World Darts Federation (WDF) “Hoi Poly” and 635 dart players invaded the city Assen, Netherlands, to hold forth the World Masters, World Open and WDF World Championship Qualifiers – a veritable festival of darts.

It’s also the AGM (Annual General Meeting) for the WDF.  The Old Dart Coach attended many as the representative of Thailand.  He incorrectly believed that his responsibility was to vote in the best interests of Thailand.  Foolish knave.  The WDF changed the rules and the ODC was shown the exit, as was Thailand.

Some months ago, the ADO posted an article stating “The WDF is our boss.”  The WDF voted, one would assume with the ADO’s approval, to raise the surcharge from $2 to $5 for WDF singles – a 250% increase.  Our spy said one country had flyers stating the $5 surcharge before the vote.  Just like elections in Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania – results in before the vote.  USA players give the ADO $1 and the WDF $5.  Great folks.

The word out of the Netherlands is that some mail’s waiting for either a train or bus from Amsterdam to Assen did some Christmas window shopping (for themselves).  $100 dollars for 20 minutes.

Back in 1991, the Winmau World Masters was held at the Ramada Inn in Earle’s Court London.  The local practice pub was called the Cock’s Inn and it was here that the crews gathered.  It was a good year for the Yanks as Ms. Sandy Reitan won the only World Masters for the USA.  Three other ladies came close – the late Stacy Bromberg and Kathy Maloney along with the current Maryland Popp were runners-up.

That same year Dave Kelly made the top 8 stage.  The event was won by Rod Harrington who defeated Phil Taylor 3-2.  Taylor never won the Masters as the split occurred with the BDO.  The best showing by a Canadian was a runner up by Bob Sinnaeve in 1986 to Bob Anderson who won three in a row.

The Sultan of Sittingbourne, Dave Whitcombe, arrived at the top eight which meant stage play.  Five minutes before the start, BDO President Sam Hawkins told Whitcombe his fights were illegal and could not be used on stage.  There was a BDO rule that you couldn’t advertise a product on stage.  Whitcombe’s flight were Unicorns.  Unaffected, Whitcombe borrowed a set of darts and won his match.

It’s significant that the 635 players are made up of men, women, boys and girls.  I, we, you, he, she, it, they, this, these, that, those, LGBTQIA+, YMCA and ESPN+.  As the tournament is in the Netherlands more Vans appear on the entry list than in an Amazon parking lot.

With 300-plus men it’s an exercise in futility to try picking a winner, especially since all but the North American players are mostly unknown…

Jelle Klaasen, a former PDC player, is the #1 seed and #2 Neil Duff (Group winner) with Danny Lauby #10 (WG).  All survived.

USA players advancing at press time are Elliot Milk (WG), Robbie Philipps (WG), Chattanooga “Chainsaw” Joe Chaney, Jim Widmayer (WG), Leonard Gates (WG), Kevin Luke (WG) and Jason Brandon.

Canadians include Steve Warnock, Jim Long, John Norman Jr. and Darcy Trenholm.  The Maple Leafs are victims of really large and groups.  WDF President Bill Hatter, from Canada, didn’t help his guys with the draw.  The USA’s Buddy Bartoletta did good.

The Women’s field is comprised of the usual WDF suspects as the PDC ladies took a Pasadena.  Beau Greaves, Deta “The Queen” Hedman, Netherland’ Aileen de Graaf Mikuru Suzuki and Almudena Fajardo are all headed to the KO round.  The later, Fajardo, is one to watch even though she lost to Greaves in the finals of the Europe Cup 7-4.

The women of the USA include Cali West, Carolyn Mars, Tracy Feiertag, Tanja Bencic, Tasha Stewart, Clayanna Brandon, Sandy Hass, Liz Tynan, Aaja Jalbert, Lisa Tylor and Robin Curry – they did themselves proud.

Canada has Brenda Moreau, Latressa Skrzyniak, Angela Aucoin and Darlene van Sleeuwen.

Now, with both groups at 64, the brackets are set – with Group winners playing group runners-up from a different group.  That put the USA in good shape to advance to the round of 32 with 6 group winners.  Only The Chattooga “Chainsaw” and Jason Brandon will face group winners.

The Ladies, with 35 byes, will have a short first round.  But only Cali West (USA) and Brenda Moreau will move on to the round of 32 by doing nothing but drawing well.  Good for them.  At least two ladies from the USA are assured of the round of 32 as they’ve drawn teammates.  Sandy Hass will play Liz Tynan and Cali West will face off against Clayanna Brandon.

The Old Dart Coach will predict the that ladies’ final four will be Beau Greaves, Mikuru Suzuki,  Deta Hedman and either Cali West or Priscilla Steenbergen.  Greaves half of the bracket is clear until the round of 4 where she’ll meet the winner of  West vs. Steenbergen.  Deta Hedman has a clear shot into the round of 4 where she’ll in all probability meet the winner of  Mikuru Suzuki vs. Almudena Fajardo.  

The Living Legend (Paul Lim) as opposed to The Legend (Russ Lopez) made it through to the round of 64.  He started show but showed true championship grit.  The Living Legend makes history.

The Old Curmudgeon dropped in from the Three Dot Lounge.  Plumb level full of advice fluid he was quoting André Paul Guillaume Gide a French author and Immoralist.  “I had to admit that to me each person’s worst instinct seemed most sincere.”

Let the fun begin.

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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