Saturday, 6 July 2019

What happens in Vegas gets reported here

While it's all well and good seeing van Gerwen suffer another surprising early defeat, Michael Smith picking up some form and Nathan Aspinall having another great final performance to collect another televised title (although it's about as minor a televised title as you can get), what we really want to know is how the continent of America's doing in general, so let's have a look at Dan Baggish, who was able to take the North American championship and, as a result, become the first player (except for those in the main and Pro Tour orders of merit who've already got spots locked up) to qualify for the worlds.

It's a bit of a surprising one, it's certainly not a name I've heard of, and while my attention to the North American scene certainly isn't the greatest, I had at least heard of the rest of the eight players who made it, with the sole exception of Elliott Milk. How did he do? It's a bit hard to say where his game is at, because by the looks of things he's not played on the CDC circuit, which seems a bit of an oddity at first glance, but the USA's a big country (heck, I'm taking a four hour internal flight later this year leaving from nowhere near any border) and maybe it didn't make much sense to play them.

So we've just got the events he's played this week. I'm not going to trawl back through every single round of the qualifiers, for one playing against weaker players does throw the stats off, so I'm just considering the two main events and then the last 16 of the qualifiers. Baggish won 42 legs there - two in twelve or better, twenty in 13-15 darts, 18 in 16-18 darts and the remaining two in more than that. That's fairly symmetrical, there's no sign of power but similarly no sign that he got drawn into long drawn out affairs fairly often, and produces a pretty respectable winning average of 91. In his losing legs, he was quite a bit lower down at 81, which is wildly inconsistent - nobody who's won more than ten legs in senior PDC darts this year has a score that's over 9, the highest being Dimitri van den Bergh at 8.6. So his overall points per turn is going to be in the 86 region - comparable players might be someone like Maik Kuivenhoven (91 winning average/83 losing), heck, Dawson Murschell isn't too dissimilar of a comparison, and the way he's been playing, Richard North is not too far away.

It's really hard to say whether this is Baggish hitting the peak of his game or not, or whether this is standard of what we come to expect. Hopefully with the knowledge he's going to get a minimum $10k pay day at the end of the year, he'll try some more of the domestic events with a bit of coverage about them.

Two weeks now until the Matchplay, but it's busy before then - we should have the draw sometime this week, but before then we've got qualifiers for the Australian/NZ World Series events, a Challenge Tour weekend, a couple of Pro Tour events midweek as well. Meanwhile the BDO continues to suffer more setbacks with the cancellation of whatever they were calling the Zuiderduin nowadays, and still no real knowledge about when or where the World Trophy's going to be held. Not a great state of affairs at all really.

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