Strap yourselves in, folks. The PDC World Darts Championship is back.
Whether you’re gearing up for Christmas, trying to forget certain political outcomes, or you’ve got a thing for grown adults dressing like Power Rangers in the middle of the day, the World Championship has something for you. Who will take darts’ biggest title? Which players will rise to stardom or fall from grace? How many times will Rod Studd say “doyen of Dutch darts” when Raymond van Barneveld is on stage? There are a lot of questions; we’ll have the answer soon.
Click here for more information about the 2020 PDC World Darts Championship, including the schedules and prize money breakdown.
First round openers
The first of those questions is over who’ll provide the first hurdle for defending champion Michael van Gerwen. Jelle Klaasen would be the neutrals’ choice; it’s well known that the pair aren’t exactly best friends. Klaasen could do with a big win to save what’s been a poor season. Kevin Burness surprised a lot of people by winning a spot at the PDPA qualifier – he can surprise even more on opening night. Read a full match preview here.
Kim Huybrechts plays Geert Nentjes in the second game of the World Championship. Both played on the same day last year: the former won 3-0 in a ‘triple-bagel’ whitewash; the other was wiped out 3-0. It’ll take an almighty swing for the young Dutchman to turn things around and surprise his senior opponent. Perhaps his ‘strange’ mentality will help him over the line. We’ve got more details on that match in this preview.
Devon Petersen versus Luke Humphries is definitely one of the outstanding ties of the first round on paper. Both are top quality; both played well last year. There’s the experience and international appeal of Africa’s darting pioneer, against the world youth champion and a popular rising star. Humphries reckons that a repeat of last year’s superb showing will see him through, though he’ll have a lot of respect for Petersen’s capacity to cause him problems. This one should be hugely entertaining, and if both turn up, it’ll be extremely hard to call. We’ve tried to do so here in the match preview.
Mighty Mike starts defence
Unsurprisingly, all eyes will be on Michael van Gerwen. The reigning world champion was simply untouchable last year, consistently averaging strongly and ruthlessly dismissing opponents. There was that dip in the summer, and the Dutchman hasn’t had it his own way, but he comes into this as the reigning Masters, Premier League, World Series of Darts Finals and Players Championship Finals holder. The Green Machine looks ready to rev up.
How much will we learn from the tie against Klaasen or Burness? If the average drops below the three-figure mark, or if he struggles, it may highlight a vulnerability. That being said, he was almost dumped out by Rene Eidams four years ago, and averaged 109 in the next game. There’ll be time to improve – unless he loses of course, in which event the World Championship would experience an almighty early shock.
PDC World Darts Championship 2020 schedule
Friday 13 December
19:10 – Jelle Klaasen vs Kevin Burness (R1)
20:10 – Kim Huybrechts vs Geert Nentjes (R1)
21:10 – Devon Petersen vs Luke Humphries (R1)
22:10 – Michael van Gerwen  vs Klaasen/Burness (R2)Tags: Devon Petersen, Geert Nentjes, Jelle Klaasen, Kevin Burness, Kim Huybrechts, Luke Humphries, Michael van Gerwen, PDC
Author: Ed McCosh