Monday, 14 May 2018

Zwolle aftermath

Should have had a new winner. We really should have. Got to congratulate van Gerwen on his fourth European Tour title of the year, but how he got there I'm really not sure. Webster had a chance to make it 5-5 in the last sixteen and would have had the darts in the final leg, but can't finish him off in the eighteen darts he was offered. Anderson didn't really get close, but Gurney blowing a 6-2 lead was remarkable - should really get more than one match dart in offered eighteen darts to win, but that's all he got in leg 10, and he was offered the same scenario in leg 12, and got two match darts, no prizes for guessing what happened there. This just left the surprise finalist of Steve Lennon in his way, who didn't do too badly after a sluggish start, having two darts to make it 6-7 where he'd just need a break to have the darts in the decider, but couldn't quite get there. Sure he'll be happy with that result though, which sets himself up for the European Championship as a minimum, and he's now just above the line for the Matchplay.

Elsewhere, Kim Huybrechts had a bit of a recovery to reach the semi final, but wasn't playing astoundingly - against Wattimena he didn't finish a single leg in fifteen darts, and in the semi final he only managed that once. Nothing to write home about really, he just got the right opponents playing the wrong way at the right time. No huge surprising names in the quarters, Bunting was very good prior to running into Gurney, probably the best he's played all year, similar could be said for Kyle Anderson before hitting a van Gerwen-shaped wall.

Huge weekend coming up. There's two of the remaining six Pro Tour events before the Matchplay, as well as the qualifiers for Gibraltar and Copenhagen (at least for the UK players, the Euros have it before the World Cup) which make up two of the three remaining European Tour events before Blackpool. As of right now, some big names that are outside (in order of closeness) include Klaasen (was outside the seeds anyway but is now outside the Pro Tour spots), Jamie Lewis, Danny Noppert's getting very close, Ratajski probably doesn't have enough shots to get up there, but Cadby's entered the qualifiers so I'd assume he's also entered the Pro Tour events, he currently sits about 10k outside the cutoff but we know he can accumulate that very quickly, especially if he makes a European Tour debut. Norris is in the seeds but would be outside on Pro Tour rankings, so while it'd take Cullen or Lewis to win a Euro Tour to realistically knock him out, whatever he can pick up will help matters

New FRH rankings:

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

No real movement. Gurney would have got above Anderson if he beat van Gerwen, and above Taylor if he won the title. Bunting returns to the top 25 at the expense of van de Pas (how quickly is he sliding?), a couple of places ahead of Kyle Anderson. Wattimena is getting increasingly close to the top 32, but has about a 6-8k gap to three closely bunched players directly ahead of him. Lennon reaches number 45 in the rankings, Menzies is now less than a grand off the top 100.

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