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Column #HR396 FOREST FOR THE TREES

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Column HR396
FOREST FOR THE TREES

The Old Dart Coach is accused as being unable to see the “forest for the trees.”

Paul Bunyan, with Babe (strange times those!) faced the same problem when visiting Las Vegas years ago, proclaiming, “I don’t see any forest for all these trees.”  With ax in hand he set about to clear the trees.  420 miles later, near Reno, he found the forest.  “Hold on there, Old Timer, there’s no trees between Las Vegas and Reno?”  Bunyan got ’er done.

The term “forest for the trees” is rare these days.  Now it’s “another set of eyes.”  The ODC got another set of eyes on American Darts.  The Sultan of Sittingbourne, aka Dave Whitcombe, whose name should roll off the tongue with those of Mr. Lowe, Bristow, Wilson and Anderson.  If it doesn’t, re-roll your tongue.

Whitcombe: Been watching a lot of tournaments from the colony of America lately via YouTube.  Am pretty impressed with the standard of play, both men and women.  It’s a fact now that it’s a far higher standard overall than way back when I graced the oche.  Players that I’m not familiar with would certainly be a danger to players over here.  It’s obvious many are taking practice seriously and become more consistent.

The ODC was wrong – North American darters are measuring up against non-PDC players.  Watching the PDC Women’s Series (and eliminating the top 3 or 4 ladies) it’s clear the Norte American ladies would do fine.

Comparing North American players against the very top of the top is stupid.  But thanks to the Sultan the sun is now shining brightly through the foliage… 

Whitcombe’s postscript: I think the standard for the top women in the UK and parts of Europe has gone up heaps with Beau getting better and better.

If Beau is getting better all ladies are playing for second place.

The PDC Women’s Series kicked into gear last weekend.  Beau Greaves was attempting to run her winning streak as she captured the last 8 events last year.  More than 130 ladies from 9 countries toed the oche as a roadblock to Greaves’ streak.  One completed the task.

The Series is a “one off” for PDC events with no seeding.  This gives the ladies a measure of hope in battling Greaves and a rejuvenated Mikuru Suzuki.  When Greaves and Suzuki drew in the same half of the draw there was hope.  That happened twice opening the door for Ireland’s Robyn Byrne and Britain’s Kim Holden to lose 5-0 to Greaves.

Fallon Sherrock had a miserable weekend.  She didn’t draw well, losing top 16 to Suzuki twice and Lorraine Winstanley.  Sherrock’s top 8 got derailed by Greaves 4-1.

The two-day battle between Greaves and Suzuki was a classic.  In event #1 Suzuki and Greaves held level at 3.  Greaves emerged up 5-3 had 144 check and finished the match averaging 94.34.

Next was the semi of event #2.  Suzuki used 14 darts and a 65-check to jump to a 1-nil lead.  Greaves then took 5 on the trot for the win averaging 90.06.

The third meeting saw Greaves and Suzuki in the quarter finals.  Suzuki broke on top 2-nil only have Greaves storm back with a pair of 14-darters and a 19-darter for a 3-2 lead.  Suzuki then chalked up a pair of her own – the first when Greaves couldn’t check with 9 from 60.  Greaves drew level in 15 forcing a decider.  Suzuki needed 80 after 12 darts and used 4 darts for the match.  Suzuki would take the final 5-1 off Welsh Rhian O’Sullivan.

Their final meeting of the week came in the semis of event #4.  Suzuki built a 4-3 lead with a nifty 145-check of t15, t20, d20 in 15 darts.  Suzuki had three match darts go astray as Greaves closed with 58.  The decider had Suzuki in charge after 12 with 80 remaining as Greaves, with the throw, had 188.  A T40 placed Greaves in two-dart zone as Suzuki’s one match dart missed.  Greaves closed with two from 48.

Greaves’ three wins provided a paycheck of £6,300 with Suzuki collaring £4,000.  Greaves also had an average 107.36 in beating Casey Gallagher in 8 minutes with two 90 checks.  Greaves’ 107.36 average was her second best exceeded by her 107.86 in beating Fallon Sherrock 5-3 last October.  (Last week’s Premier League produced only two averages of 100+, both by Gerwyn Price.)

Price tossed a monkey wrench in the ODC’s predictions as he took out Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4.  Peter Wright lost again, unable to check from 104 giving Michael Smith a 6-5 win.  Saving some face was the ODC’s having Michael van Gerwen the winner over Gerwyn Price 6-5 with the help of the Tungsten God.  In the final van Gerwen and Price were level at 5.  Price would miss 7 match darts giving van Gerwen 6 from 178.

This week’s prediction by the ODC: 

Michael van Gerwen again beats Price.

Michael Smith rebounds from his loss last week to Price sending Nathan Aspinall packing.

Dimitri Van den Bergh will deal the fast-fading Chris Dobey handing him another defeat.

Jonny Clayton’s back extending Peter Wright’s Thursday night losses.

Semi-final

Michael Smith over Michael van Gerwen

Jonny Clayton over Dimitri Van den Bergh

Final

Jonny Clayton gets his first win of the season and £10,000.

This week it’ll be “darts bloody darts”, as Jim the Bizz would say, as 258 PDC players descend upon Butlin’s Minehead Resort for the 2023 “How’s Your” Cazoo UK Open.  Those escaping to 128 will collect a paycheck from the £600,000 prize fund with the winner banking £110,000.

North Americans in the field include Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell from” Oh Canada” and Jules van Dongen along with Danny Lauby representing the Colonies.  The event starts Friday and concludes Sunday with wall-to-wall converge on PDC TV.

The Port City Open held center stage this week in the US of A.  Danny Baggish lost his PDC tour card.  Campaigning at home he took the ’01 singles while Leonard Gates took the Cricket.  One of those ladies that can compete with anyone is Paula Murphy as she took both singles.  It is interesting that the ’01 singles drew a combined 307 players while Cricket drew less than half that at 145.

There is a story out there that Cricket is an American game.  Not so – the English have played it for eons and call it “Mickey Mouse”.  Finally, the English get something right.

The ODC might be fairly accused of sometimes not seeing the “forest for the tress” but he did once see a bear go #2 in the woods.  True fact.

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

 

Author

  • Howie Reed

    Astute, often controversial, and always humorous, the Old Dart Coach, Howie Reed (a former rodeo cowboy and advertising executive), is heralded as the Dean of Darts Chroniclers - the most prolific and widely followed writer ever about our sport. He goes back decades with the legends and knows where the skeletons are buried (just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers!). Here are four well-known facts about the Old Dart Coach: 1) he is a Republican, 2) he loves the ladies, 3) he can drink most anybody under the table, and 4) he throws darts as bad as Dartoid.

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