World Series of Darts – Downunder
The World Series of Darts has already spent the last couple of weeks in Australia, with plenty of top quality darts having already been played by the PDC pro’s and by the local Aussie and Kiwi players. There have been some upsets and some quality play, as you would expect. But also some great head to head battles with the winner far from a certainty. This series now heads to N.Z. with the New Zealand Darts Masters to be played this Friday and Saturday night in our very own “Tron”, Hamilton.
Copyright: © Copyright Photosport Ltd 2019 www.photosport.nz
This “World Series of Darts” has actually had three events before heading downunder with the first being in New York, then Copenhagen and then onto Amsterdam in June before the two events being held in Australia.
As those who closely follow the sport of darts will know, those two events in Australia saw Michael van Gerwen take out the final in Townsville 8-5 over the current world number one, Gerwyn Price. But the highlight for kiwi fan’s was the win by Haupai “Hopes” Puha over world number seven, Jonny Clayton 6-2 in the first round in a win that saw many kiwi dartists proud once again of Hopes achievement. The following week, Jonny got one back on Hopes and went on to win the final in Wollongong against “The Machine” James Wade 8-1, such is his class.
Onto this weekend’s event and if you don’t have tickets, the show will once again be shown live on Sky Sports2 from 7pm Friday night. If you’re going to the event, make sure you have a costume as you will look out of place in just jeans and a T-shirt, nothing is surer.
On one side of the draw will be eight professionals which include 7 of the world’s top 15 darting pro’s plus one female pro, Fallon Sherrock. On the other wise will be four Australian and four New Zealand dartist’s. These include World Cup winning duo Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta and PDC Tour Card holder Gordon Mathers sponsored by our local NZ dart company, Shot Darts. Mal Cuming will round out the four Australian players.
This year we’ll see four New Zealand players fill the other side of the card with Christchurch’s own Bernie Smith. The other DPNZ qualifier will be young Kayden Milne who beat none other than Haupai Puha 7-4 last month in Christchurch to be the other qualifier and win a spot on the big stage at the NZ Darts Masters in Hamilton. We will also have World Cup team mates, Warren Parry and Ben Robb who will complete the “local” side of the card.
So, will we see a procession of PDC pro’s take out the local kiwi’s and Aussie players on the night? Not likely! Whilst the draw and match ups will be made a few days out from the first night (may already be out by the time this piece is released). Players to watch who are likely to upset are “The Wizard” Simon Whitlock who knocked over none other than the world number 3, Michael van Gerwen (MVG) in last week’s event in New South Wales. His World Cup team mate, “The Heat” Damon Heta was unlucky in his 6-5 loss to Michael Smith last week and by losing by the same slim margin in Townsville the week before against world number one, Gerwyn Price. He surely would be a decent bet to go one better and make the quarter final or even further as this weeks event!
But all the local’s, in NZ anyway will be watching (and likely betting on) their local lad, Ben Robb who has played in the then Auckland Darts Masters before back in 2018 and again the last time it was here in NZ in 2019. That last time he beat Simon Whitlock 6-4 in the first round and only lost to the then world champion Rob Cross in the quarter finals. Ben is a quality player who shows little nerves on stage and won’t be overawed by the occasion. Good luck and kia kaha Ben!
The World Series of Darts will conclude with its “finals night” in Amsterdam mid next month. But locals won’t be worried about that this week as all darting eyes, whether there in person or live on t.v. will be watching and backing the local darting talent in Hamilton this Friday and Saturday night.