Sunday 6 August 2017

Players Championship 17/18, Euro Tour qualifiers

So we're now done for the summer break - nothing in the remainder of the month apart from exhibitions. This has closed up a fair bit in terms of qualifications - there's now just the two European Tour events before the Grand Prix cutoff, for which the UK based players have had their qualification events already, there's only one event for the UK players on the European Tour left to qualify for, we're now over 80% of the way done with the Players Championship series so there'll be a lot of spots locked up now, and of course this all leads up to the worlds at the end of the season. This weekend:

Performance of the weekend - There weren't many of the big guns out this weekend, so there were opportunities for many players to take full advantage, but quite a few of the bigger names in there didn't do too much - Chizzy got the win just now and Gurney won both his boards but went no further, Smith got to a semi final but then went out first chance today after getting a round 1 bye, so I'm looking a bit further down. Stephen Bunting is a contender with a semi final and a quarter final, but let himself down a little bit with a double failure in the European qualifiers, surprisingly in a decider to Robert Owen and a whitewash to Andy Hamilton, Brendan Dolan had a bit of a return to form with a quarter final, last 32 and one European qualification, much further down Chris Quantock, Ryan Meikle, Yordi Meeuwisse and Paul Harvey should be happy with their weekends, but I'll give this to Kyle Anderson - grabbing a maiden title, hitting a nine dart finish in the process, qualifying for two European Tour events (which he shouldn't need to do much more often now), the only downer is a surprising defeat to Keegan Brown today.

Best tournament performance - That I gave Anderson the weekend award should tip you off that I'm going to give this to Richard North for a first tour final, doing a Steve West and getting it just in time for a possible qualification for the Grand Prix - currently according to Twitterati maths he has the last spot, and only European qualification and good runs by continental players (mainly looking at Ronny Huybrechts, but van der Voort and van den Bergh aren't without chances if they make a deep run) should stop him, and given he is playing in both remaining events, he should be able to get over the line - shame he put in a bad final leg when it really mattered after being lights out all day. Chizzy winning is obviously worthy of a mention, Jermaine Wattimena had a great run to the semi final yesterday, only being beaten by Kevin Painter making a final out of nowhere, whilst Ryan Searle continues with an impressive opening season, staying close but just outside of worlds qualification.

Best single match performance - Andy Hamilton with the 6-0 over Bunting given that Bunting's been playing well this weekend is in with a shout, Brendan Dolan with the same scoreline today over Darren Webster is worth a mention, another mention for Paul Harvey, while Vincent Kamphuis isn't the toughest opponent, getting the whitewash is always nice. I'll give it to Dolan - Webster's been in such red hot form that it seems more impressive, especially having just come through 6-5 duels with Simon Whitlock and Devon Petersen. One more leg against Chisnall in the following round and who knows what would have happened?

Worst weekend long performance - Benito van de Pas lost in the opening round both times to James Richardson and John Part, I don't really need to look any further. Rob Cross was subdued with just one and done in each events, going out to Ryan Meikle (who's getting an awful lot of mentions in the last few posts for no real reasons - did I mention he beat the number 1 seed today?) and Chris Quantock, Chris Dobey also has to be disappointed to not qualify for either of the European events (losing out to Jamie Caven of all people) and going out in round 1 in both Players Championship events, where qualifying for one or both and having modest runs would have kept him in Grand Prix contention, and given he's less than a grand above the cutoff for the worlds as of right now, every quid could end up counting.

Worst single match performance - There's not a huge amount to talk about in this category and I don't want to give it to Webster for being on the wrong end of the best single match, I don't want to give it to Bunting either as it'd seem unfair when talking about him straight off the bat in the best of the weekend. Could go with either of Dobey or Wilson losing to Jamie Caven as part of their weekendus horribilises, but I'll just save this and give it out when something really bonus deserving comes up the next time around.

New adjusted FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gary Anderson
4 Phil Taylor
5 Dave Chisnall
6 Mensur Suljovic
7 Daryl Gurney
8 James Wade
9 Raymond van Barneveld
10 Michael Smith (UP 1)
11 Adrian Lewis (DOWN 1)
12 Simon Whitlock
13 Alan Norris (UP 1)
14 Jelle Klaasen (DOWN 1)
15 Kim Huybrechts (UP 1)
16 Ian White (DOWN 1)
17 Benito van de Pas
18 Gerwyn Price
19 Joe Cullen
20 Mervyn King

Lower down, Kyle Anderson stays unchanged despite his win as there was a big gap between him and Beaton above him (which is now obviously a lot smaller), Kevin Painter leaps up to 43 following his final, Richard North is now less than £100 off the top 60, while Ryan Searle is within a grand of the top 70.

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