Tuesday 1 March 2022

UK Open preview 2/8

(37) Willie O'Connor v (148) Connor Scutt/(180) Mario Vandenboegaerde or (241) Jules van Dongen

All tour card holders here, but mostly new ones. Mario and Jules match up first, Jules has had an ok start to his PDC career without really getting results yet, Mario on the other hand has played that little bit better and is scoring a touch more, so should be favoured to advance to round two (call it 65/35 maybe?) and face Scutt, who has already got a good PDC run under his belt, but has not got quite the level of scoring as Mario has, although the Belgian has a smaller sample size. Will find it hard to separate them, and either will have a good shot against O'Connor, who I'm thinking might be around the 60-65% region against either opponent. Willie's needing a good performance from somewhere to start to make progress up the rankings, maybe the UK Open with the nature of its draw is one opportunity.

(38) Jermaine Wattimena v (97) Diogo Portela or (UR) Dan Read/(192) Ross Montgomery or (UR) Reece Colley

This seems completely wide open. Portela and Read both advanced through Riley's qualifiers, Read was hyped up a bit by Matt Edgar the other day and has got a decent scoring record on this season's Challenge Tour so far, a good four points higher than Diogo, who likely can make this into somewhat of a flip on account of his greater big game experience. Colley's a name that has been around for a while, making it here through the Dev Tour, and he's been most recently seen averaging high 70's on the Challenge Tour, so would probably be an underdog to either player in round two if he gets past Ross, who's not scored too highly so far in the PDC (it's actually near identical to Colley's stats in my database), so maybe call the first round game a flip and say the winner is a 40/60 dog? Whoever gets through this is surely going to fancy their chances against Jermaine, who has better statistics but is low on confidence (or at least it appears that way) and might open up a decent underdog punt opportunity.

(39) Adrian Lewis v (123) Kai Fan Leung or (125) Fabian Schmutzler/(UR) Vladimir Andersen or (UR) Steve Clayson

Another wild section. Leung won a Riley's qualifier and will face the latest hot German prospect in round one, I think KFL's got the much stronger all around game and we've got enough data on Schmutzler at this stage to think that Leung ought to advance fairly comfortably. Andersen's scored around 87 from when I've seen him in my database to date, which I think is mostly Nordic/Baltic having not been able to play Pro Tour to this date, he faces another Riley's qualifier in Steve Clayson, who seems like the closest thing we've had to a complete random that we've had in some time, that he's apparently 59 and nobody's heard of him is a little bit remarkable. Would favour Andersen to get through this comfortably enough then KFL to have a bit of an edge in round two, then it's down to Adie to do his job, if it was Leung he was to play I'd guess the line would be about 2/5, 4/11 something like that without vig. Lewis should be fine, but he's not exactly been getting results for some time now.

(40) Alan Soutar v (79) Jim Williams or (90) Ryan Murray/(88) Mickey Mansell or (UR) Jurjen van der Velde

Soutar's going to look to repear what he did last year and he's got a couple of rounds start from there, but won't have an easy game. Jim's got the quality, as does Ryan, Jim's projecting to win easily two in three, then we've got the Pro Tour winning veteran in Mansell against the Dev Tour qualifier in van der Velde, who's scoring 82 in the 80+ leg sample I have on him, which is well below Mansell who should advance comfortably. Williams against Mansell I'd still favour the Welshman at between 60% and two in three, then Soutar looks pretty much dead even against Jim. He's playing that well.

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