Raymond van Barneveld has had his best performance in quite some time with the Dutch legend smashing Haupai Puha for the second week running to begin the Melbourne Darts Masters.
Van Barneveld claimed a 6-1 win over the Kiwi ace with a brilliant 106 average and 6/8 on the doubles as he showed his form was very much still there.
He started as he meant to go on in the contest smashing in a 109 checkout to win the opening leg and after Puha had missed three darts at doubles, he began to punish in the following leg.
He hit an 83 checkout to double his lead and break the throw of Puha but ‘Hopes’ broke back to halve the deficit as it seemed we would have a game on our hands.
Barney though dispelled that breaking again with a 14-darter to cement a 3-1 advantage. He added a 76 checkout to lead 4-1 as he continued to increase his average to 102.
From there he continued his charge going one away with a 72 finish with 5/7 on the doubles and he concluded the crushing victory to send a warning sign out to the rest of the field.
Whitlock was the first to move through and despite not being as emphatic as Van Barneveld, he defeated debutant qualifier Mick Lacey.
He eased past him in a 6-3 win with a 97.6 average. Lacey had the better of the doubling stats at 50 percent but his scoring let him down with a 78 average.
As a result, ‘The Wizard’ is through to the quarter-finals with ease as he continues his good form on his return home.
Melbourne Darts Masters 2019: Day One schedule
Simon Whitlock (97.62) 6-3 (78.93) Mick Lacey
Raymond van Barneveld (106.13) 6-1 (93.13) Haupai Puha
11:15 Daryl Gurney v Kyle Anderson
11:45 Gary Anderson v James Bailey
12:15 Peter Wright v Corey Cadby
12:45 James Wade v Damon Heta
13:15 Michael van Gerwen v Tim Pusey
13:45 Rob Cross v Robbie King
Best of 11 legs
Tags: Melbourne Darts Masters 2019, Raymond van Barneveld, Simon Whitlock
Barney's best performance for a long time!
75% on the doubles
— MelbourneDarts (@DartsMelbourne) August 16, 2019
Author: Samuel Gill