Sunday 3 February 2019

Dutchman wins Dutch Open shocker

Just been watching a bunch of the Dutch Open final day. Congrats to Richard Veenstra on becoming the first Dutch winner since van Barneveld, which should give you an idea of how long ago it was, over Ryan Hogarth in a thoroughly enjoyable final marked with big checkouts. Hogarth has already got a 160 in the books and just missed (I think) 137 for the second set, but Veenstra killed 158 to make it 2-0 in sets. Hogarth got the break back and eventually levelled at two sets each, and was able to take out 141 in the final set to keep it alive, but Veenstra eventually finished 87 to take the title. Good game, was being streamed on Dutch regional TV (a bunch of it was on the NDB's channel, but didn't seem to be working on the Sunday) so should be available on catch up.

Suzuki won the ladies final over Aileen de Graaf, who oddly switched to scoring on 19's after a couple of legs, it seemed to work somewhat but the damage was done at that stage, elsewhere in the other finals I was very impressed with Pim van Bijnen, who won the under-14 boys event extremely comfortably. Quite a few big names went deep in the mens, Parletti and van Egdom were the losing semi finalists while Kenny, Unterbuchner and Warren are well known who made the quarters, don't really know who Kevin Doets is, but he's done the Development Tour last year so could be another one off the Dutch production line?

Elsewhere in the world of darts, the Masters is going on, it's van Gerwen/Chisnall and Wade/Wright in the semis, but as dartsdata keeps thinking today is November and showing me a game between Michael Smith and Adam Smith-Neale from the Grand Slam, it's a hint to ignore it I guess. Razma and Labanauskas have won the first two Nordic/Baltic tour events, with Ulf Ceder, Daniel Larsson, Oskar Lukasiak and Marko Kantele going deep in both of them. Dennis Nilsson, Johan Engström and Kim Viljanen also won their way onto European Tour events, nice to see a new name and it'll be good to see Viljanen again, who's been quiet over the last six months or so. They've also had the first weekend of DPA events, with Damon Heta getting a brace of wins, James Bailey getting one and Steve Fitzpatrick (who he?) claiming the last victory. No sign of Cadby, which is strange.

It's all gearing up to the first Pro Tour events of the year now, with much of the interest being in how the new tour card holders will start their campaign. It's moderately important in that a fast start will see a couple of them grab a first round bye in the UK Open for sure, and maybe if a bunch of them do, they can overtake the stragglers in the Order of Merit from last year - Dootson's only got £1250, and there's another three players on less than four grand which could easily be overhauled - there's three weekends to work with before the cutoff for the UK Open so it wouldn't take that much work to climb into the top 96, even if a couple of players get off to a great start.

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