It’s not often that the World Grand Prix draws a parallel with the World Cup of Darts. But here we are.

At the World Cup, just two seeds fell – numbers three and six. Gerwyn Price and Daryl Gurney (as well as their partners) went home early. At the World Grand Prix, numbers three and six – Gurney and Price – are gone. You can see where I’m going with this. The top seeds went out in the second round in Germany, and Scots reigned supreme in the final against the number one’s conquerors.

On that basis, it’ll be a Peter Wright vs Jeffrey de Zwaan final, right?

They won’t be rubbing their hands and awaiting a final berth just yet, because darts may sometimes follow a pattern but predictable, it ain’t.

Enjoying the new best-of-five-set format first of all are Mervyn King and James Wade. No Sunday winner had a better checkout success rate than the English pair. As Christopher Kempf, a.k.a Ochepedia, calculated, both were truly top of the pops.

The bottom line is that both are in fine form. It doesn’t necessarily look like the tie of the round on paper, though it’s easy to imagine it being so. The winner of this one won’t be afraid of a quarter-final against Michael van Gerwen or Jeffrey de Zwaan.

Michael Smith produced a couple of moments that mark him out as someone who truly can win big titles. Clutch finishes of 128 and 155 stunned Simon Whitlock and sent the Bully Boy into round two. That being said, needing the monumental checkouts to escape defeat will have annoyed him. Ian White showed similar gumption to go from a position of almost being whitewashed by Joe Cullen to knocking the Rockstar out. No matter what’s said about Cullen’s part in the result, the Diamond spearheaded the turnaround with sparkling form on the doubles when he needed to most. Whoever wins this tussle will get a massive morale boost that could prove decisive in the grand scheme of the World Grand Prix.

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Ando aiming for quarters

Michael van Gerwen is through to round two. That’s all the history books will say, though there’s a caveat that Jamie Hughes could (perhaps should) have sent the defending champion packing. Mighty Mike will be aware that Jeffrey de Zwaan – a real nemesis at recent majors – knows how to punish errors. The Black Cobra did plenty of that in a disappointingly routine win over Steve Beaton.

Anyone who suffered an unfortunate sneezing fit at around 11:30pm on Sunday might have missed the entirety of Gary Anderson’s first set against Keegan Brown. The Scot wasn’t messing about. Though Brown threatened more in the second set, it ended 2-0. Anderson hasn’t actually lost a set in the opening round since 2012. This is a trophy the Flying Scotsman hasn’t got his hands on yet, and he’ll want that to change. Beating him is a daunting task for Chris Dobey but nothing seems to faze him, which makes him an ideal candidate to probe Anderson’s defences and capitalise on any errors.

Click here for more information about this tournament, the only one to feature double start on the PDC Tour.

PDC World Grand Prix 2019 schedule

Day Three

19:10 James Wade v Mervyn King
20:00 Michael Smith v Ian White
21:00 Michael van Gerwen v Jeffrey de Zwaan
22:00 Gary Anderson v Chris Dobey

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Tags: ,

Author: Ed McCosh