Monday 8 October 2018

Wes Newton now available for exhibitions in early January

So that scenario where someone who wasn't already qualified for Lakeside taking the last Lakeside spot by winning the World Masters came up, Adam Smith-Neale coming from a couple of sets down in the final against Glen Durrant to win 6-4 and claim his first major title. Quite an achievement, it's a name that's been around for a while but I didn't realise quite how young he was, dartsdatabase reckoning he doesn't turn 25 until later this month, which equates to him having his tour card in his teenage years. It'll be interesting to see where he goes from here, you've got to think he tries the Q-School route, but I guess it's going to depend on what he does in the worlds, and whether he fancies stopping around for another year - this sets him up real nicely in terms of BDO ranking points for next year, unless they change their qualifying criteria he'll be in the 2019 Slam (although Wiki thinks that Smith-Neale is in this year's Slam instead, which conveniently avoids the Ratajski question). Will be an interesting decision - if he is in this year's Slam that may well point towards a Q-School punt.

If you haven't watched it already, go back and watch both the final and the Williams/Waites quarter final - both cracking games that have got to be at least mentioned in dispatches for game of the year. The Williams one in particular, with him pinning 167 to save the match and breaking Waites in a last leg decider is well worth checking out. It's all on the BDO's Youtube channel for the grand cost of nothing, so why not.

Looking at what the BDO 32 did as a whole over the weekend, an 8.5% clip of legs in twelve darts or less isn't too bad, and nearly 52% of legs in fifteen or less is fine - that averages out to around the season long averages of Vincent van der Voort, Simon Stevenson, Jeffrey de Graaf, Stephen Burton, Jermaine Wattimena we can maybe throw in but he's a bit better on the twelves. It's not an awful standard at all, although it's obviously going to be tilted as the better players will be throwing more darts. Durrant and Waites managed over 96 and 95 points per turn respectively, with the winner also ending up over 90 - if we filter just on the quarter finalists, the percentage of legs finished in twelve is about the same, but they're killing 60% of legs in fifteen darts and are over 91 in points per turn. The closest approximations I can see to that season long in the PDC are Jamie Hughes and James Wade - and nobody would be saying Wade's a mug or having an awful season. The Wade comparison seems apt - he's not the sort of player that's going to blow you away with a spurt of twelve dart legs, but he's not going to give much up at all and is going to keep things really tidy. There were 121 legs on the final day, and only four out of them went more than eighteen darts for someone to win. There were 119 legs in the semi finals and final of the PDC worlds last year, and they had two of them go over eighteen darts.

As this is the last BDO event we're going to have before the Slam, let's take a quick look at what the BDO's runners and riders are doing in terms of season long points per turn - this is from Lakeside, the World Trophy and the "televised" stages of the World Masters. I don't think any of them played the UK Open, but if they did (Smith-Neale played the qualifiers if I remember rightly), that'd count as well:

Glen Durrant - 95.00 (286 legs)
Scott Mitchell - 92.48 (118)
Adam Smith-Neale - 89.22 (137)
Jim Williams - 88.86 (191)
Michael Unterbuchner - 87.89 (227)
Mark McGeeney - 87.11 (219)
Wesley Harms - 86.82 (49)
Gary Robson - 86.25 (67)

Now the last two have no sample size whatsoever, but let's give the names of the PDC players immediately above and below each of these (minimum of 150 legs played):

Durrant - Gary Anderson, Rob Cross
Mitchell - Dave Chisnall, Jeffrey de Zwaan
Smith-Neale - Ron Meulenkamp, Ritchie Edhouse
Williams - Ritchie Edhouse, Max Hopp
Unterbuchner - Dave Pallett, Darren Johnson
McGeeney - Robert Owen, Vincent Kamphuis
Harms - David Evans, Richie Burnett
Robson - Jason Cullen, Paul Rowley

Let me reiterate that top one. Durrant is scoring more points per turn than Rob Cross is. Now you can argue all you like that Cross is having a mediocre season, but he's the world champion. Only van Gerwen and Anderson are scoring more points per turn this season in the PDC than he is. This is kind of why I put that poll up on Reddit - the most common pick is that he would be a top 16 player getting a third of the votes, with top 32 just edging out top 10 for the next most popular pick. Got to be anti-BDO trolls (or just general trolls) in there somewhere, but seven people thinking he'd lose his card? Come on now. Only one vote for top five, and no, that wasn't me. Imagine also what would happen if someone cleaned up some of those sixteen-eighteen darters that he occasionally leaves (he's killing over 70% of the legs he wins in under fifteen darts, which is higher than anyone not called Michael van Gerwen in my database), and instead of 501 in six visits, he scores 469 in five visits or something like that, as can happen. The average would probably go up in the PDC, not down.

Players scoring less than all of the BDO contingent? Jamie Caven, Christian Kist, Ronny Huybrechts, Robbie Green, Scott Taylor, Benito van de Pas, Devon Petersen to name a few - all top 64 players or ranked finalists.

There's been a few people clean up some of the PDC worlds qualifying spots - Rowby won the south/east Europe qualifier, don't know what would happen if he finalled one of the last Pro Tour events - does it go to Rusty? Kevin Burness won the Tom Kirby, he won his tour card earlier in the year but hasn't put up anything of note or any great numbers, Yordi Meeuwisse won through what's for all intents and purposes the Dutch qualifier, we've seen him around for a couple of years, he doesn't finish too quickly from what we've seen this year but is tidy enough I guess. Labanauskas and Larsson finished up getting the Nordic spots, Larsson at the last second as Kantele couldn't get over the line in the final event - we've seen enough of Darius to know he's legitimate, Larsson's not looked awful in a very limited sample and coming through what's a decent tour has got to stand him well. Apparently Asada won the Japan qualifier, which opens up an additional Asian Tour spot, which close to locks Maclidem in for a debut and Paul Lim for a 6945th appearance, while I'm sure I've read somewhere that Koltsov won the Russian qualifier, given his Challenge Tour form he won't be a bad addition.

1 comment:

  1. I thought this was a very impressive display from the BDO players in the Masters. Durrant as we now is top class but all of Mitchell, Unterbuchner, McGeeney, Williams could be decent in the GS this year. Even Robson who has the worst stats looked good in a couple games.

    By the way I think Rowby is uneligible to qualify from the Pro Tour now, so Rusty can't qualify for the Worlds. (unless he did it in the world youth) And I believe the Russian qualifier hasn't been played yet, for sure I'd like to see Koltsov win it though.