Column #HR438 It’s Thanksgiving… the time to give thanks.
Thursday, November 21, 2023
It’s Thanksgiving… the time to give thanks.
It’s that time of the year when the folks in the Colonies give thanks. In 1621, 50 Pilgrims (i.e., those that escaped the Motha Country which was then ruled by King James I of England and Ireland (and who was also James IV ruling Scotland) invited 90 Wampanoag Indians to join together for a festival to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.
No women were allowed. The Wampanoag Indians objected to being called Indians. They preferred Wampanoag Indigenous Persons. Five women had snuck in as they identified as Wampanoag Indigenous Persons. Both groups told them to “shut up.”
Darters everywhere should be grateful for the evolution of darts from brass to tungsten. Like the first Thanksgiving, there are questions about when the change took place. Former Londoner via Southern California and now Florida darts player Mick Smith remembers…
“My first darts that I actually played with were a set of Jim Pike brass darts with feather flights. Halfway through my first season, I bought a used set of copper tungsten and thought they were fantastic… then, I took a walk down the street to Jack Harris’ dart shop and he got me fitted with some Tommy O Reagan darts. At that time, I think I paid £13 for them. And I remember my mom was NOT pleased with the extravagant purchase – when you made 75p an hour.”
The Old Dart Coach is thankful that both Mick Smith and another former Southern California favorite (now living in Texas), Lin Lanny, will be attending the Stacy Bromberg Senior Open January 19-20. The ODC is also thankful to the Professional Darts Corporation for naming one of their major TV events after the him. The just concluded Grand Slam was named Mr. Vegas. The ODC is humbled.
For Luke Humphries, the last two months have been something for which he is grateful as he captured his first major television event in October and following it up with the Mr. Vegas Grand Slam last week. Called “Cool Hand” Luke, he plays the game with the ease Dean Martin did at everything. After finishing top of his group Humphries started the KO stage with a 10-7 win over Ryan Searle. Searle had set the Aldersley Leisure Village into an uproar when he used a 9-darter to defeat Nathan Rafferty 5-3 in the last group.
Against Searle, Humphries broke a tie at 4 with a charge of 4 which evolved into a 10-7 win. Humphries would average a sensational 105.42.
The tournament had been an “I’m back” event for Gary Anderson. He reached the quarter finals by beating Gerwyn Price who had been shooting lights out until he met Anderson. As Gary usually does, he broke out to an 8-4 lead then coasted to a 10-6 win with an average of 104.96.
Against Humphries, Anderson led early 5-1 and 8-4. Humphries would level at 8, using a couple of 12-darters, as Anderson looked like his turkey was cooked. Humphries would get level at 9, taking the first lead at 10-9 in 16 darts as Anderson missed 2- from 87. Given up for dead, Anderson might have been thinking “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Anderson battled back to level at 13 with a T31 check, then retook the lead (14-13) in 15. After Humphries leveled, he used 12 darts for a 15-14 lead that led to his 16-14 win – averaging 103.56.
As a side note, Humphries also stopped the tournament for James Wade who, like Anderson, was playing his best in a long time.
Wade took out upcoming star Josh Rock 16-15. Rock missed 5 missed match darts – it was apparent the pressure got to him. After missing one to win, allowing Wade to draw level at 15, he had three in the decider. Usually a steady thrower, Rock took his time approaching the oche and more time throwing. Wade took the opportunity – taking 28 in three (d11, miss and d30. Afterwards, Wade would say: “He played better than me. I was lucky.”
Luke Humphries would take the final over Rob Cross 16-8 where both had great averages – Humphries 104.69 and Cross 103.61. The difference was when their scoring came. Humphries came at the right time allowing him 27 chances to close as opposed to 20 for Cross. After a level match at 2 Humphries opened a can of “WA” leading 7-2, 10-3 and 14-5 on the way to the win.
The 28-year-old Luke Humphries, a former youth champion, can be thankful for the pair of wins and (the ODC must assume) that his partner will welcome the £150,000 added to the £120,000 he won at the Grand Prix. Humphries is #4 in the Order of Merit and has become the favorite for the PDC World Championship.
The Colonies are thankful for a Virginia gentleman named Stowe Buntz who put on a display of professionalism to the round of 8 for the best showing of a Yank since Larry Butler or Gary Mawson…
The commentator noted that, “Mawson has represented more countries than Kofi Annan the former UN Secretary General.” Mawson actually represented both Canada and USA.
Buntz would win his group, stunning Peter Wright (5-1) and Stephen Bunting (5-3), losing only to Dave Chisnell 5-4. In the KO round Buntz easily defeated Andrew Gilding 10-5. In the round of 8 to four he would meet Steven Bunting. They were tied at 6 after 12 legs when a sprint by Bunting opened an 11-6 lead at which point a bemused Buntz could only shake his head. During his run Bunting had finishes of 126 (t19, t19 and d6) in 12, 101, 93 and 84. Buntz missed only one double during that run.
Stowe, a product of the CDC, can be proud of his finish and the £25,000 added to his checking account. Asked if he would enter Q School, Buntz indicated that would be down the road. “I’ve got children to put through college so that will have to wait.”
The Golden Era Dart Players wish to extend a special HAPPY THANKSGIVING to Sally Kelly, Gail Heard, David Miller, Russ Lopez and Lisa Farrell for their sponsorships of the Stacy Bromberg Senior Open. Were it not for their generous donations there would be no Senior Open. Also, thanks to Paul Seigel, Jullie Nicoll-Jennings, Jessica Nicoll, Pat and Rose Carrigan, David Irete and Derrick Oliver who are working every day to make the Senior Open a success.
Finally, the ODC wishes everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING and extends a special thank you to the ancestors of King James I and IV for making it possible.
Stay thirsty my friends.
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