The first Austrian Darts Championship kicks off with a cluster of cosmopolitan darting clashes.
Who will be calling themselves the new Austrian Darts Championship title-holder come Sunday night? Last year’s Austrian Darts Open winner, Jonny Clayton, is in the mix. So too is this year’s Open winner Michael van Gerwen, who’s up for keeping up a winning streak.
Kicking things off in Vienna is an Irish derby: the Republic’s William O’Connor meets Northern Irish ace Brendan Dolan. The latter’s recent Players Championship success stands him in good stead for this one. Following on is another Northern Irish star, Derry ace Gavin Carlin. He takes on James Wilson – the Jammy Dodger will be desperate for good performances to bolster his ranking after agonisingly missing out on the World Matchplay.
It’s a big moment for Czech youngster Adam Gawlas, who is rapidly becoming a big name on the East European scene. The 17-year-old makes his big stage bow at the Multiversum Schwechat against a relative old-timer in Ross Smith. Another pair of youthful prospects meet in Vienna, as Ted Evetts – who continues to blaze a trail on the Development Tour – pits his wits against homegrown star Rusty-Jake Rodriguez.
A Munch and a Burger
Cameron Menzies always brings the entertainment value. The enigmatic Scot will be more motivated by a possible second round meeting with Michael Smith than wowing the crowd, however. In his way stands Kevin Munch, who made his way through the West/South European Qualifiers to make it here. Following on from them are Dietmar Burger – another of the seven Austrians in attendance – and Norwegian thrower Cor Dekker.
Justin Pipe and Vincent van der Voort are two successful Austrian Darts Open alumni: Pipe won the 2012 event, van der Voort took it two years later. For both, Austria was the scene of their only European Tour titles to date. Could the Austrian Darts Championship give the nostalgia boost needed to carry one of these players to further success?
Jermaine Wattimena could set himself up with a tasty second round clash against Adrian Lewis. First, he’ll have to battle his way past the German, Christian Bunse.
The afternoon’s play begins at 13:00 Austrian time – or midday in the UK.
Austrian Darts Championship schedule
Day One, afternoon session
12:10 William O’Connor v Brendan Dolan
12:40 James Wilson v Gavin Carlin
13:10 Adam Gawlas v Ross Smith
13:40 Ted Evetts v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
14:10 Cameron Menzies v Kevin Munch
14:40 Dietmar Burger v Cor Dekker
15:10 Justin Pipe v Vincent van der Voort
15:40 Jermaine Wattimena v Christian Bunse
Author: Ed McCosh