Dartoids World

Column #HR431 HEJ… HEJ… and Au Revoir to WDF World Cup XXIII

Monday, October 2, 2023
Column HR431 
HEJ… HEJ… and Au Revoir to WDF World Cup XXIII

When this adventure called the WDF World Cup XXIII started a few days ago the Old Dart Coach quoted Scottish poet Robert Burns: “The best-laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley”…  

The plans for England’s men’s squad to lift another overall World Cup gold disappeared like a hot dog in front of Joey Chestnut.  (The ODC likes to point out the fact that Chestnut, like himself, is a graduate of THE San Jose State University – called by all The Harvard of the West.  The University is so proud of both.)

The men of England needed a lot of help as they had no one in the top four of either the singles or doubles.  First, the English needed Carles Arola (Catalonia) to defeat Netherlands Berry Van Peer in the singles semi.  Van Peer completely dominated Arola allowing him 3-doubles in one leg and 2 in another, winning 6-0.  Van Peer ended the trashing with a 12-darter.  All hope for the Motha Country had a stake driven into their gold dream.

Germany’s Frink Burns made it to the finals defeating Canadian Robbie Mills.  The pair were even at 2 when Bruns held in 14, then broke for 4-2.  Mills answered in kind using 14 and 13 darts to level at 4.  Burns held to get a 5th leg, one from the finals.  Mills failed to force a decider when he couldn’t erase 52 with 6 darts.  Burns managed 40 in 3 for trip to the finals.

Berry Van Peer never trailed in the final, breaking it open when 4-3 with legs of 14, 13 and 17 as Burns suffered a power failure like a Tesla after 500 miles.  All Hail Berry Van Peer not only as the singles champion but for joining fellow countrymen Roland Shelton (1993), Raymond van Barneveld (1997, 1999 and 2003), Dick van Dijk (2005) and Wesley Harms (2013) as singles gold winners.

It was a fait accompli that the English women would win their 14th overall gold.  The final day question, “Would the English have two ladies in the singles finals?”

They had a great chance with both Beau Greaves and Deta Hedman in the semis and not facing each other.  Netherlands Noa-Lynn Van Leuven broke in front of Beau Greaves 1-nil.  Greaves would answer with 5 in a row assisted by Van Leuven’s missed doubles that would have reversed the 5-1 score line to a level 3.  Van Leuven in 15 temporarily halted Greaves’ victory that came in the next leg – 6-2.

Deta Hedman took a 3-nil lead over Finland’s Kirsi Viinikainen who played spectacular throughout the World Cup.  Each took a leg for 4-1.  Viinikainen got one on the board when Hedman couldn’t close with 11 from 41.  At 4-2 Hedman got rolling for 5-2, then wasted another 10 from 50 allowing Viinikainen to start a 3-leg run that would level the score at 5.  The decider was ugly as Viinikainen missed 6 from 16 for the win.  This allowed Hedman 5 from 20 for a trip in the finals.

Beau Greaves and Deta Hedman had won the gold in the pairs earlier in the day.  That surprised no one.  They are the best pairs team in the world and the ODC predicted the win.  Hedman had a lead of 4-3 which Greaves leveled a 4.  Greaves then took 2 more for 6-4.  A leg by Hedman made little difference as Greaves closed it out for the 7-5 win.

The 4-person final provided the English a chance to deliver the Netherlands a defeat to save a little face.  The English led 4-3.  The Netherlands’ Jelle Klaasen started and ended a 4-leg run that put the Dutch ahead 7-4.  England did narrow to trail by one, 6-7 and 7-8, when Dutchman Wesley Plaisier used 16 darts concluding with a 1 dart d16 check for the win.  England’s Scott Mitchell in his 100th appearance for England took the defeat by Plaisier.

All Hail to the winners.  England can take some solace in the fact that their youth team took the gold in everything, dominating runner-up Ireland.  The English youth event displayed in bright lights the unmistakable caliber of their youth program.

The performance by the USA was disappointing to say the least.  The youth ranked 16th among the 18 nations that sent teams, the men 13th of 43 and the ladies 11th.   In both the pairs events the USA scored a total of 18 points all by youth.  The boys 17 and the girls 1.

USA youth players Kaden Anderson and Seth Patenaude made it to the quarter finals of the pairs to score points.  In that match the USA led 3-1 over the Australian duo of Terence Morton and Jack Spencer.  USA had 7 darts to close from 40 for the 4-2 win when they got stung by a 110 finish from Morton.  The decider went to the Aussies who would lose in the semis to the eventual winners from England.

Why did the North Americans perform so poorly?  The only North American male to reach a quarterfinals was Canadian Robbie Mills.  Paula Murphy with a top 16 achieved the best for the women.  Of the pairs only Canadian Ross Snook and Jake MacMillian reached the quarter finals.  For the USA Robbie Phillips and Joe Chaney reached top 64 as did both lady’s pairs.  Pathetic.

One reason might be that Covid and machine darts have proved fatal with no vaccine available for either.  That’s too simple as other nations have been hit with similar diseases.  Is it the USA selection process?  No one knows the answer.

What must be faced is the reality that North America’s performance in the most prestigious event in the amateur world of darts fell far short of respectable.  When once North America had an impact on the World Cup those days seem to be over.  This year’s performance was no doubt an outlier of things to come from a region, North America, which has a proud heritage of excellence in sport.

Until the powers that be discover how to untie the Gordian Knot that is strangling North American darts mediocrity will continue to prevail.

A final bit of Rodney Dangerfield…

“I get no respect.  When I was born the doctor slapped my mother as my father waited outside.  The doctor told him, ‘I’m sorry he lived.’” 

Stay thirsty my friends.


  • 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.