Tuesday 1 March 2022

UK Open preview 3/8

(41) Ricky Evans v (67) Scott Mitchell/(177) Danny Jansen or (UR) Liam Meek

Meek got here from the UK Dev Tour, and the data I have saw him scoring below 82, he was averaging under 80 in the most recent Dev Tour weekend - that seems unlikely to cut it against a card holder in Jansen, who's scoring a good five points higher in his early PDC days, but seems wildly inconsistent which I guess would be expected to some extent. Neither looks likely to be able to run with Mitchell, despite his mediocre worlds performance, Scott's been scoring over 90 in the last twelve months which is around a point and a half better than what Evans has been doing, which is enough for him to rate as over a 55% favourite against the higher ranked player.

(42) Darius Labanauskas v (77) John Henderson/(96) James Wilson or (UR) Shaun Wilkinson

Wilkinson got himself onto the tour as a bit of a surprise name, and is looking for his first victory scoring barely over 80 per turn over a limited sample, which is not going to be enough to take on Wilson, who we've talked about at length as someone who's been playing an awful lot better than his results are showing. Doubt the first round game is close, and with Henderson's form remaining sketchy outside of World Cups, James rates to get through the second round game as a 60/40 favourite. A potential third round game against Labanauskas would be too close to call on paper, but maybe you have to rate Darius as being a small favourite on account of having more of a winning record of late.

(43) Adam Hunt v (107) Martin Lukeman/(176) Jamie Clark or (UR) Shaun McDonald

McDonald was right up there on the UK Challenge Tour rankings last season, I can't see he played the first weekend but looked very competent at Q-School, then again so did Clark, who's quietly been averaging in the top 40 on the Pro Tour so far, so you've got to think Jamie ought to be a solid favourite. Lukeman is at a comparable spot, much improved this year but Jamie is playing that little bit better and either will surely fancy their chances against Hunt, who did not have a great 2021 by any stretch of the imagination and has yet to really get going in 2022 with no wins yet. Clark's data is still a bit limited but over the last twelve months Lukeman would rate as more than a 60% favourite, so go from there.

(44) Steve Lennon v (68) Rusty Jake Rodriguez or (282) Ryan Harrington/(188) Richie Burnett or (239) Tony Martinez

Bit of a cluster this one. The first of the two first round games seems the easiest to call. Rusty's been that good that Harrington, averaging 84 in the opening Challenge Tour, seems a touch outclassed. The other one is a bit harder to call, Martinez is one we've not talked a huge amount about since he got his tour card and he looks to have occasional decent legs but many more weaker legs, which feels like something that a veteran like Burnett ought to be able to exploit. Neither seem to really be on Rusty's level with the limited stuff we have on Burnett being a good three points lower, maybe he can nick it one time in three or something like that. Rusty against Steve ought to be a good one. Lennon continues to play well but without getting results, maybe his form has tailed off a little bit as the numbers make this pretty darned close to a coin flip. It'd be a fun one to watch, which is why the PDC have buried it on board five.

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