The PDC World Series continues on Friday with the Shanghai Darts Masters.
Gary Anderson is the top seed, with Peter Wright, Rob Cross and Michael van Gerwen completing the top four. They’re joined by James Wade, Michael Smith, Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price. Royden Lam, Lourence Ilagan and Seigo Asada are three confirmed PDC Asian Tour representatives. Completing the line-up are five Chinese qualifiers, who are yet to be confirmed. This is the third iteration of the Shanghai Darts Masters. The last two have followed a pretty similar pattern.
The first edition of the Shanghai Darts Masters was back in 2016, with the PDC taking the World Series to new shores. Five Chinese participants were joined by Hong Kong pair Royden Lam and Scott MacKenzie, plus the legendary Paul Lim. It was Lim who caused the biggest scare in the first round. Michael van Gerwen battled to a 6-4 win over the Singapore Slinger, but none of the rest of the Asian contingent picked up more than two legs.
With the invited eight safely through, the quarter finals were much tighter. James Wade and Phil Taylor edged through 8-7 against Gary Anderson and Peter Wright respectively. Van Gerwen secured a semi final spot against Dave Chisnall by seeing off Raymond van Barneveld. Chisnall defeated Adrian Lewis but couldn’t stop the Green Machine. Wade squeezed past Taylor to set up a final against the Dutchman, but it was one-way traffic in Shanghai. Van Gerwen raced into a 7-1 lead and, though Wade took the next two legs, it merely prolonged the inevitable. An 8-3 win secured his first World Series event of the year.
Van Gerwen went on to win the World Series Finals, but started 2017 exactly as he did 2016, losing to Anderson in the Dubai Darts Masters final. His quest to make history repeat itself in China started with a 112.73 average against Hai Long Chen. In eight matches, the Asian representatives claimed just four legs between them – Royden Lam took two of them against Price. The closest thing to a shock came in the quarter-finals. Van Barneveld stunned Anderson with an 8-1 battering.
Taylor met van Gerwen in another titanic tussle, and it was the younger man who prevailed. In a repeat of the 2016 final, the Green Machine met the Machine. Once again, Wade couldn’t stand in van Gerwen’s way, and the reigning world champion took another 8-3 win. Chisnall put in a good performance to sink Barney and reach the final, but totally wilted at the final hurdle. Chizzy averaged a mere 83 and van Gerwen punished him ruthlessly, scorching his rival with an 8-0 whitewash.
All eyes will be on Mighty Mike as he looks to make it three out of three in the 2018 event. Click here for the full prize fund breakdown.Tags: PDC | Shanghai Darts Masters 2018 | World Series of Darts 2018
Author: Ed McCosh