Column #CM119 30 years of PDC World Championships – the Dutchmen (Part 3)

Friday, December 23, 2022
Column CM119
30 years of PDC World Championships – the Dutchmen (Part 3)

In 2004, two Dutch players again stood at the oche during the PDC World Championship.  Roland Scholten was joined by left hander Jan van der Rassel – who was born in 1965 and known by the nicknames “The Project” and “Rassle Dazzle”.  He played from 2001 – 2004 in the BDO.

In 2003, Rassel reached the Last 16 of the World Masters and the quarterfinals of the Dutch Open.  After his World Masters success, he decided to switch to the PDC, but still played in a few WDF Open events – winning the Sunparc Masters in 2006 (defeating in the final Braulio Roncero).

van der Rassel made his debut in the PDC World Championship in 2004.  He stayed in the PDC until 2010 and took part in the PDC World Championships in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 as well.

In 2004, van der Rassel lost in the Preliminary Round to a relatively unknown Englishman, Ritchie Buckle, who himself lost in the first round to Dennis Priestley and did not take part in another World Championship.

In 2006, van der Rassle won his first round match against Steve Beaton but lost second round to American John Kuczynski. The next year, van der Rassle missed the World Championship, but he was back 2008 – the year in which the World Championship for the first time was played in the Alexandra Palace.  van der Rassle this time qualified by the PDPA qualifier.

In the first round he defeated Colin Lloyd – seeded that year as number 12 – and in the second round Dennis Ovens before he lost in the third round to Peter Manley.

In 2009, van der Rassel again stood at the Ally Pally oche – this time qualifying by way of the new European Order of Merit (which only existed for a few years and via which players from the continent could qualify for the European Championship and the PDC World Championship).  In the first round van der Rassel defeated Kirk Shepherd who was the runner-up in 2008, but lost in the second round to his fellow country man Jelle Klaasen.

In 2010, van der Rassel qualified for the last time for the PDC World Championship – this time via the Pro Tour Order of Merit.  He defeated in the Preliminary Round German Tomas Seyler but lost first round to Dennis Ovens.

After this last World Championship appearance one didn’t hear much more from Jan van der Rassel, who didn’t manage to find sponsors to continue his career.  In 2011, he took part in the Police Masters and reached the semi-finals – the last international appearance of this player.

In 2005, it was Josephus Schenk who joined Scholten.  Schenk was 24 years of age and was already well-known in the Netherlands.  In the first round Schenk had to work hard to win over American Darin Young.  In the second round he got a clear 3-0 win over Englishman Alan Caves.  In the third round Schenk met Peter Manley, the number 3 seed, and Schenk shocked the darts world by defeating Manley with 4-2.  In the Last 16 he lost to Andy Hamilton.

Schenk qualified once again in 2007.  In this year he was ranked third in the national Dutch rankings and his second World Championship appearance in the Circus Tavern was eagerly anticipated.  But Schenk didn’t live up to expectations.  He played a weak first round match, averaging only 74.99, and lost to Dennis Priestley.

Schenk played a few more years in the PDC – without success.  In 2009, “The Orange Machine” switched to the BDO/WDF.  He had a few better placings – for example, a last 32 in the pairs event of the Dutch Open in 2017 and, as a final highlight, reached together with Derk Telnekes the semi-finals of the same event in 2019.

It seems that after this Schenk ended his career.

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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.