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NZ Pro Tour hits world class standard

Many dart players throughout New Zealand don’t even know that there’s a professional darts tour within NZ, well there is. That tour is the DPNZ Winmau Pro Tour which sees 12 events played throughout the country between February right up until early October. These events give players the opportunity to earn ranking points to enable them to play for the right to compete in the 2023/24 Cazoo World Darts Championship which will be held at the famous Alexandra Palace in London in mid-December. The tour also provides players the opportunity to qualify for the NZ World Cup team along with World Youth Championship selection and entry into the NZ Dart Masters. Needless to say, the points on offer are very important to those that compete.

Points are given as follows:

Last 16 – 4 points

Last 8 – 8 points

Semi Finalist – 12 points

Runner-up – 16 points

Tour winner – 20 points

Last weekend, that tour kicked off with the Pro Tour 1 and 2 being held at the Black Horse Hotel in Christchurch. With over $6,000 in the prize pool for the weekend up for grabs, it attracted some 73 players for both days.

Well known names on the local NZ darts scene like Ben Robb, Haupai Puha, Warren Parry and even Darren Herewini were there and as expected featured heavily towards the end of the day making up the semi-finalists on day 1. But other players like Stu Irwin, John Hurring, Kayden Milne and even Bullseye Darts sponsored players, Jamie Roberts and Harrison Donegan fought hard and proved they will be pushing to go deep into upcoming tours.

There were a lot of highlights last weekend, in particular DPNZ number one ranked Ben Robb who managed a whopping 115 average in his quarter final win on Sunday. He then followed that up in his next game in a semi-final win over Mark Cleaver and wired the double 12 for what would have been a nine-dart finish in one of his legs. Many watching said it was some of the best darts they’ve seen live in NZ in many, many years. Robb then went on to win the final on day two after being 4-1 down to Haupai Puha to reel off six straight legs to win Tour 2 Sunday and secure the maximum 20 ranking points. Puha had even hit a solid 108 and 167 finish in that final to show he’s always one to beat.

The win Sunday saw Ben Robb go two from two with a solid victory the day prior over Warren Parry 7-3.

Entry into these tour events is open to anyone willing to pay the entry cost of just $40 per event. Many enter just to play one of the top names in NZ darts. But many too are able to compete and even beat the “big

names”. With the next two Pro Tours, 3 & 4 to be held at the Birkenhead RSA in just a few weeks time on March the 25th and 26th, expect an even bigger field to be available as dartists from across the country chase

the lure of ranking points, or just the chance to play one of the best New Zealand has to offer.

Paul Webber

Owner – Bullseye Darts


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