Sunday, 14 July 2019

Quarter 4 - The Wright stuff



We kick off with the latest TV title winner in Peter Wright (congrats to Gabriel Clemens for making the final by the way, that title is surely just a matter of time, although we've been saying that about Chris Dobey for three years now), who's bizarrely seen as not being in the greatest of form despite having the fourth highest points per turn of anyone in the world - I suppose some people do just look at titles. Maybe now that he's won one he starts getting a bit more credit? His first opponent is Vincent van der Voort, often billed as the fastest player in the world despite not even being the fastest player in this quarter, the Dutchman seemingly having a bit of time without any back problems, which has allowed him to put together solid statistics throughout the year although in terms of results it's mostly been a few quarter finals and steady accumulation, rather than anything spectacular, as such he was only just able to get into the field. Should be an easy enough win for Peter, although he only has a 6-5 head to head record and lost their only meeting this season, and also lost their only meeting in a major back in 2014.

And his second round opponent might not be that much tougher - Simon Whitlock is seemingly in a stage of decline in his career, his rankings being kept alive by sporadic good runs such as the final he made on the European Tour, and the European Championship run last autumn. He looks like he's putting things together a bit more in the last couple of months but is still playing a lot worse than his ranking suggests. John Henderson will be his opponent, Hendo having a nice run of quarter finals earlier in the year and a semi final in April, but in the last couple of months it's been a bit quieter. He's still putting together better statistics in more or less every single category than the Australian, and ought to be a moderate favourite in this one. Hendo edges the head to head 4-3, but they've only met once since 2014.

Daryl Gurney's the top seed in this section, but I'm not sure he's the best player in this section, putting together scoring that's a fair bit worse than Wright, and is not that much better than the other players in his mini-section, although his numbers are pretty odd in that his winning legs are really quite average, below his first round opponent Ricky Evans, but his losing legs are not far behind his winning legs per turn at all, so is he running bad or being gifted legs? Or both? He has at least won a Euro Tour, so can't be doing too bad, and in that Euro Tour event he beat, er, Ricky Evans in the final. Ricky's been getting a bit gimmicky with his walk-ons and that banter is disguising that his quality of play has come on leaps and bounds in the last twelve months, reaching three finals, two of them being on the European Tour, so getting lumps of cash to push him up the rankings. This'll be deceptively close - that Gurney final win pulled back the head to head to 4-3 in favour of Evans, Ricky having won the three previous matches.

The final game is Jonny Clayton against Keegan Brown - Clayton is perceived as being a bit out of form, and I'm not really sure why given he's picked up another floor title this season and is scoring perfectly fine - I suppose he's just had a few accidents early in the Euro Tour events that doesn't help perception. It ought to be a good opening match against Keegan, who's becoming a bit of a specialist against Michael van Gerwen, having beaten him twice in the Euro Tour on his way to semi finals in both events, which is a nice habit to get into. This is another game that threatens to be very close - they only appear to have the one meeting, where Clayton won a board final in a deciding leg on the floor earlier this year.

Later on, I think Wright looks to be as close to a lock to make the quarters as anyone in the field, whereas the other quarter finalist could realistically be any of them - but whoever it is ought to be an underdog to Wright in the quarter.

Everyone wants more graphs, so let's have another one:


Most players are just below their dot, although some have shifted a bit funny - VVDV is the orange dot, Brown is the salmony one, Beaton's the light green dot and Ratajski's the darker green one.

Berry van Peer's recently binked Challenge Tour 11 which has shoved into a three way clusterfuck for fourth right now with him, Edhouse and Harris within fifty quid of each other, Edhouse having had another first round accident and Harris only mincashing. Cameron Menzies was the beaten finalist, forcing his way up to second in the rankings, while Arjan Konterman and Rusty Jake Rodriguez made nice runs through to the semi finals.

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