The first four games of the PDC Grand Slam of Darts second round are now known.
Groups E-H concluded on a frantic night of action in Wolverhampton. It proved to be a total wipeout for the four BDO representatives, all of whom are going home. For the eight PDC players remaining, their next step towards potential Grand Slam glory is now known.
Group E proved to be unpredictable right up to the end. That’s despite Peter Wright winning all three of his games. Snakebite needed a last-leg decider to beat Josh Payne and Jim Williams. Payne, thanks to claiming four legs against Wright, pipped Max Hopp into second on leg difference. On -2, Hopp just about confirmed his spot above Williams, who beat his PDC opponent to claim two points.
Simon Whitlock pulled off a fantastic comeback to qualify for the second round. A thrilling win over Gerwyn Price meant that the Australian will play Peter Wright, with group-winner Price securing a tie against Josh Payne. Glen Durrant, after losing his last two games, dropped to third. Andrew Gilding ended up fourth, though level on points with the BDO world champion.
For the second year in a row, Stephen Bunting dominated his Grand Slam group. Three wins and a +8 leg difference makes the Bullet the top statistical performer of Groups E-H – all while being in the ‘Group of Death’. Its tough stature was well-merited; three of the four players finished level on points. Levelling out at a leg difference of zero was enough for Mensur Suljovic to trump Scott Mitchell and Martin Schindler, who finishes bottom despite beating the highest-ranked player.
Ryan Searle became the only player in the first four completed groups to go home without a single point gained. Ahead of him is Mark McGeeney, who made it three third-place finishes out of four for the BDO contingent in this half of the draw. Dimitri van den Bergh finished second and will meet Bunting. Rob Cross, group winner with a 100 per cent record, will meet Mensur Suljovic in the second round.
|Dimitri Van den Bergh||3||2||1||+5||4|
Author: Ed McCosh