Sunday, 7 April 2019

10 talking points from PC9/10

Thought I'd review the weekend in a bit of a different way:

1) Barney probably should have stayed retired

You honestly have to question what the point is of him staying around is if he's going to mail it in, which is entirely probable - losing to Gary Eastwood of all people on the Saturday, then today squeezing out a win against Bunting purely on account of Bunting throwing absolute filth in the first four legs and Barney's filth being slightly cleaner, before going out to Luke Woodhouse. If you're not enjoying it, pack it in, it's that simple.

2) Corey Cadby's resurgence might take a bit of time

This seems fair enough, he's back in and it'll take a few tournaments to get back up to PDC speed, while he did get a win on the Saturday, he didn't appear that convincing (it's hard to get a huge read while watching Dart Connect on your phone in a pub in Wigan), but his overall scoring in the legs he did play stuck him up on the first page of my sort by points per turn database, so the game to some extent is clearly still there and it's just a case of derusting.

3) Should we fear the Welsh?

Chris Mason posted on Twitter that 12/1 on team Wales for the World Cup looks great value - I'm not so sure, but while we've talked in depth about how Gerwyn Price is playing, Jonny Clayton's been quietly doing work under the radar and managed to claim another title today, he's still very much within the top 20 on the stats I have, so while I think a Cross/Smith team looks to be the best if they're both firing, it's not that outlandish a shout.

4) Players down the order making a run

There's been a bunch of players this weekend that have stuck in great performances. If we look back at the tour card race post I made midweek, then we can see that Edgar made two board finals, Pipe did the same and won one of them, Luke Woodhouse won a board (and might have done better, but for me to bok him and say he'd make the final today right after he'd won his board, blowing a 5-2 lead against Jose Perales), Kanik made the semis today, and Monk won both his boards, turning one into a quarter final. It's a case of doing things consistently really, put enough points on the board to get yourself into the worlds where if you can win your first match, the scores really increase.

5) Rise of the Machines

It was nice for Wade to win a floor title, sure he picked up a couple of decent TV scores last year, but getting paid in the bread and butter events is still important, and he was able to get home on the Saturday, with an overall tournament performance surpassing anyone who'd won a a match other than Jamie Hughes, who only managed the one win. Speaking of which...

6) When will Jamie Hughes go deep?

Can he catch a break already? In the stats I have, for the 2019 season the top five players in terms of points per turn go van Gerwen, Price, Cross, Smith and then Jamie Hughes. This is just in main PDC events, it doesn't count how he absolutely destroyed Q-School. But let's look back at who he's had in the Players Championship so far - he missed the first two, but after that he's won two games then hit van Gerwen, beat Gurney then lost to Meeuwisse, beat Lerchbacher and Adie then lost to Searle, lost to Clemens, beat White and Huybrechts then lost to Ross Smith, lost to Bradley Brooks, beat Wright then lost to Aspinall, and today he lost to Dekker. While as a non seed, you're going to get a seed in the first two rounds every game, it does seem that he's run into a lot of the cream of the crop very early - often beating them but then going out soon after. He's surely due one.

7) Who's the best German?

Gabriel Clemens made another final today, his second of the year, which is pushing him well into contention to make the Matchplay - ahead of Max Hopp, who while he's tentatively in right now, will have his Euro Tour win disappear by the time the cutoff hits. Hopp's arguably been playing the better darts, especially in the UK Open and his performance against Durrant on Saturday was exceptional, but Clemens is quietly getting the job done. Schindler has fallen off a touch, but is still above the critical 90 points per turn and is probably running a bit bad, while on the BDO side, Unterbuchner is still very much in the equation.

8) Can I have some of what Ritchie Edhouse was smoking?

I can only assume he had some sort of weird injury that made him throw like I do, but at the same time, it wasn't serious enough that it made him want to withdraw just in case Ryan Joyce was even worse, but honestly. Go look at the Dart Connect for that game, but check this leg in particular:


Yikes.

9) Should we start to get worried about Peter Wright?

No is the simple answer. Sure, losing to Ronny Huybrechts in this day and age is a bit of a weird one, and taking home nothing from the weekend is very surprising, but he got Jamie Hughes yesterday and we all know what I think about Yozza's game, and his overall points per turn is still sixth - he just has a close to zero consistency rating, i.e. the points he's scoring per turn in the legs he's losing is extremely close to what he's done when he's been winning - the database wide sample over 14,000+ legs this season is at 4.72, Wright's at 0.38, the only other players in the top 20 of points per turn that are under two are van Gerwen (at 1.93), Suljovic (at 1.86, and he was negative for a huge portion of last year so this is nothing new for Mensur), and Gurney (0.94). Finally...

10) At what point do we start to take Arron Monk seriously?

I touched on Arron in point 4, and also looked at him a bit in the tour card race post earlier in the week. To casuals, he's still probably best known as either Colin's lad, or the guy that gave Phil Taylor a bit of a fright in the UK Open in 2016. But let's look at what he has done in the last six months or so - he was one game away from making the Grand Slam in the qualifier, he only lost in the PDPA qualifier to someone who eventually made it, then this year in floor events he's only been stopped by Jonny Clayton, Ian White, Alan Tabern in a decider, Robert Thornton in a decider, Ian White again, Rob Cross, Josh Payne in a decider, Mervyn King, James Wade yesterday and then Ian White today in the quarters for a third time this season, in a decider having led 5-4 and needing White to finish 115 for a twelve with Monk waiting on a three figure out. He is well within the top 32 for points per turn this year, and he is scoring more when he is losing legs than he is when he's winning them. He's in the next Euro Tour event, and won't be someone that people want to face, that's for sure.

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Gary Anderson
4 Michael Smith
5 Daryl Gurney
6 Gerwyn Price
7 James Wade (UP 1)
8 Peter Wright (DOWN 1)
9 Nathan Aspinall
10 Mensur Suljovic
11 Dave Chisnall
12 Simon Whitlock
13 Ian White
14 Jonny Clayton
15 Adrian Lewis
16 Darren Webster
17 Joe Cullen
18 Mervyn King (UP 1)
19 Stephen Bunting (DOWN 1)
20 Jermaine Wattimena

Key mover is Wade claiming a 5,000+ point lead over Wright, while Smith closes to within 25,000 points of Anderson, Clayton's win puts him in a bit of an island in 14th, King edges ahead of Bunting, while lower down, Clemens crashes into the top 50 ahead, just of Alan Norris, Arron Monk is into the top 100 after a very successful weekend, Jose de Sousa is just three places outside the top 100 (current number 100, for those who are interested, is Kevin Painter), Mark McGeeney's also into the top 110, while Tytus Kanik and Scott Baker are fairly close to each other following their respective semi finals in the top 128, an area that Jose Perales has also climbed up in to. Also, Mike van Duivenbode is finally onto the board - it took him ten events and being given a draw against Terry Temple, but he got a win eventually, albeit 6-5, but them beat Ratajski to make the board final before losing in a decider there to Marko Kantele. Got to keep plugging away!

This week I think I'm going to reprise my "best players not to win some level of tournament" post that I made last year, keep an eye out, maybe tomorrow with the Champions League distracting me from darts, before we get onto another PC weekend and some Euro Tour qualifiers this time next week.

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