Monday 19 September 2022

Bit of a catch up

Been a mental week or so down here, so not caught up after the Euro Tour the other week which Wright was able to win, breaking a surprising drought at that level considering the number he plays (or at least used to play, certainly murmurings that he will limit his schedule going forward). Good run for Dimi, Ratajski did enough with a quarter to keep himself the right side of the European cutoff for now, the disappointing one is that Rock couldn't do enough to get himself into Grand Prix contention - would have been a tough ask regardless, but would have been great to see. Ross Smith helped himself hugely - he is in the Belgium field, less than a grand behind Rowby, who isn't, and that's the last event before the cutoff as far as I can see. One win should do it - there's a jump ahead of Rowby of about four grand to Dolan, then below Smith there's more than four grand to the next player who is in the field (van der Voort) who could go on a run. As such, for all intents and purposes it looks like Smith just needs to win his opening game. I'm working off counting future mincashes which they usually do, if not Smudger would need to beat their seed as well, which is another question entirely.

FRH rankings as of right now (so will have had a week of degrading after Jena):

1 Peter Wright
2 Gerwyn Price
3 Michael van Gerwen
4 Michael Smith
5 Danny Noppert
6 Luke Humphries (UP 1)
7 Rob Cross (DOWN 1)
8 James Wade
9 Jonny Clayton
10 Jose de Sousa
11 Nathan Aspinall
12 Dimitri van den Bergh
13 Joe Cullen
14 Ryan Searle
15 Dirk van Duijvenbode
16 Damon Heta (UP 1)
17 Krzysztof Ratajski (UP 1)
18 Gary Anderson (DOWN 2)
19 Dave Chisnall
20 Callan Rydz

Humphries got a round further than Cross and that's enough to bump him up a spot, Heta and Ratajski just showing up was enough to shove them past Ando. One thing to watch for is that van Gerwen is now less than 30k behind Price - a good run at the Grand Prix, or even a moderate run if he binks in Belgium this weekend and Price has an early exit, could easily see him grab the #2 spot back, which is pretty rare to hold without having either of the previous two world titles.

Tournament was moderately chalky with only Smith (now 31st) reaching the quarters from outside the top 20, so no big jumps. Players sliding include Whitlock who's now outside the top 35, Petersen could easily be out of the top 50 very soon, while Durrant is now 70th.

We've had a whole weekend since then, and it's a bit of a mad combination of a weekend with both five Challenge Tours and a gold-rated WDF event clashing. Taking the latter first, Reece Colley, a name we've seen for a while on the secondary tours, managed to bink the bigger of the two events which will give him a Lakeside (?) spot, if and when that's ever scheduled, that it hasn't been yet is a touch concerning. Then again, a major train company here can't schedule trains for this weekend and they think that's fine, so meh. James Richardson got the other one, good for form and someone that we should really be seeing on the PDC tour.

Challenge Tour then - main thing is that Scott Williams binked another one, which is giving him a near four grand lead at the top of the table, so it's going to take a lot to deny him a tour card, a worlds spot (both of which he's looking pretty good to get through other means anyway), and a Grand Slam spot. On the Slam, will quickly mention that van Duijvenbode's improved his chances by finalling that exbo in the Netherlands at the weekend. Other winners were Robert Owen (now second in the rankings), Wesley Plaisier (not had a great season outside of that, but we've seen on the European Tour he's a very good player and will surely be one who'd be a favourite to claim a card at Q-School), Jurjen van der Velde (now fifth, one of six players in a tight race for the second card, or possibly both cards) and Christian Kist, who's a bit further back in eighth. Kist also made the final of the first event so has kind of come a bit from nowhere to contend for a card, also good to see some familiar names in Thornton, Tricole and Lauby getting all the way to the final. I don't know anything about Patrick Peters, but he's the last of your finalists.

The big interesting thing this weekend on top of the Euro Tour is going to be the Asian Championship. There's so many names that we've not seen outside of very limited opportunities for quite some time, as well as plenty of fairly new names, so we should get a fair bit of good data here given that the tournament looks like it will be on Dart Connect. Will be fun to observe for sure.

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