The top seed starts their Danish Darts Open campaign on Saturday evening; it’s not Michael van Gerwen. Or any of the PDC top nine, for that matter.
Talk about the fallacies of the ranking system is for another time. For now, all eyes are on Copenhagen. In the absence of the world champion, there are plenty of pretenders to the Danish Darts Open throne. Like in Hamlet, they’ll all fall away until we have one prospective king of Denmark left.
Gerwyn Price could do with a win. His World Cup of Darts bid ended up a miserable failure – though he played significantly better than Jonny Clayton. He’ll want to play significantly better than Ryan Harrington, his opponent, who crushed the hopes of home nation qualifier Niels-Jorgen Hansen on Friday.
Rob Cross kicks off his title tilt against Kirk Shepherd, who beat Vincent van der Voort in a match high on drama but not as high in quality. William O’Connor has produced quality in abundance recently, and the Irishman will be keen to do the same in a Saturday evening revenge mission.
Almost a week ago, Peter Wright toppled O’Connor, and then Steve Lennon, to claim the World Cup of Darts for Scotland. That’s gone, but O’Connor can claim back some bragging rights – along with a third round berth.
Diamond in the rough
Along with Per Laursen, who played in the afternoon, Dennis Nilsson keeps up the Scandinavian interest in round two. His 6-0 thumping of Steve Lennon was a genuine surprise. It’d be even more eyebrow-raising if the former strongman were to out-muscle James Wade.
Adrian Lewis plays Kyle Anderson in a game that depends hugely on whether either can play to their boundless potential. Mensur Suljovic then starts his title defence with an almighty banana skin in the form of Gabriel Clemens. The German has already accounted for Mervyn King.
Ian White, the world number ten, is the top seed. He’s earned it too, with some spectacular showings on the European Tour. First up for White is Martin Schindler, who dominated Kim Viljanen yesterday. He only needed an 85 average and six out of 16 on the doubles to win 6-0. That sort of strike rate could land the opposite result against the Diamond.
Saturday’s final match is a real thriller in the making. The good news is that if the session is running behind schedule for any reason, Jermaine Wattimena and Michael Smith will have things wrapped up in a pinch. The Bully Boy’s calm and capable win over Steve Beaton will give Wattimena pause.
Evening session schedule
18:15 Gerwyn Price v Ryan Harrington
18:45 Rob Cross v Kirk Shepherd
19:15 Peter Wright v William O’Connor
19:45 James Wade v Dennis Nilsson
20:15 Adrian Lewis v Kyle Anderson
20:45 Mensur Suljovic v Gabriel Clemens
21:15 Ian White v Martin Schindler
21:45 Jermaine Wattimena v Michael Smith
Author: Ed McCosh