Michael van Gerwen bows out against Ryan Searle in Leverkusen; Stephen Bunting impresses with average of 117

Michael van Gerwen did not make it past the third round at the European Darts Open. The 35-year-old from Vlijmen was beaten by Ryan Searle, who proved too strong for Van Gerwen.

Van Gerwen was broken in the first leg by Searle, who missed six chances to lead 2-0. The Dutchman came back to 1-1, but then lost his own leg again. Three more breaks followed, before Searle doubled his lead to 4-2 with a 62 finish.

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The seventh leg went to the Dutchman, but Van Gerwen missed one chance in the eighth to equalize. Searle made it 5-3 with a 15-darter, then decided the match with a 62 finish in the ninth leg.

Stephen Bunting provided the highlight of the tournament by posting an average of 117.12 in his third round match. That average is a personal record for "The Bullet" and also the highest average ever in the history of the European Darts Open.

The Englishman managed to win 6-0 over his compatriot Owen Bates at the last sixteen. Bunting started the match with an 11-darter and then produced two 12-darters to extend the lead to 3-0. A 14-darter in the fourth leg then made it 4-0. In the fifth leg, Bunting missed some chances on the doubles, but a 16-darter made it 5-0 after all. Bunting then decided the match with a 12-darter via a 136 finish.

The match between Damon Heta and Chris Dobey was a lot more exciting. Heta won this match after a deciding leg 6-5. 'The Heat' recorded an average of 99, compared to 101 for Dobey.

Early in the match, Heta still trailed 2-0 after a 170 finish by Dobey in the first leg. Thanks to a 124 finish, Heta fought back to 2-2. After that all the legs went with the darts. Heta decided the match with a 17-darter in the eleventh leg.

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