World Darts Championship, 2019 - My Thoughts
Firstly, I must say a huge congratulations to Cody Harris who has become the first Kiwi to make it through to the second round of a World Darts Championships. Cody beat Martin Schindler of Germany three sets to two to advance in mid-December to earn his biggest pay cheque of his career of GBP15,000 (NZ$28k). Although he failed in the second round to Jamie Lewis from Wales, ranked 26th in the world by losing 3-2, it was an impressive display by the kiwi. Cody joined the PDC Qualifying school in England in January last year to try to take his career to the top level and take on the pro players in the UK/European circuit. We wish Cody all the very best for his endeavours.
Also of interest was the emergence of two other dart pro’s during the championship that showed they are ones to watch in future. Luke Humphries, the Englishman with a (now) world ranking of 57 showed that at an age of just 23, he is a force to be reckoned with. With his smooth throw, he managed to knock out the previous and reigning World champ, Rob Cross in the last 16. That was only after he had also beaten Van den Bergh and Bunting in previous rounds. Although losing to Michael Smith in the quarter final, Luke will no doubt see his confidence grow at upcoming darting fixtures.
Then there is Nathan Aspinall, now ranked 34th in the world after reaching the semi-final’s. The 27 year old was about to give professional darts up just three months ago, but a win in the final of the 18th Players Championship of the year in September in Barnsley convinced him differently. Lucky too as his world darts semi-final’s showing earned him a cool GBP100k (NZ$189k). Although he lost to a red-hot Michael Smith 6-3, he showed he too is one to watch for the future.
Whilst the world darts final was not the best spectacle with Michael van Gerwen winning his third worlds darts title with a solid, although not spectacular 7-3 win over Michael Smith. Many of the games in the 2 1/2 weeks leading up to the final were riveting viewing. Proving that darts will remain on the rise in 2019, both by player and viewer numbers.
Straight arrows everyone.
Owner – Bullseye Darts