Wednesday 14 December 2022

(22) Dobey, (30) Kleermaker, (ChPL) Han

Chris Dobey - FRH #20, 559-459 (54.91%), 92.31 scoring (#18), 3.04 consistency
Martijn Kleermaker - FRH #44, 357-359 (49.86%), 87.38 scoring (#74), 3.42 consistency
Xicheng Han - FRH #151, no data

Martijn? What's happened? It was barely over a year ago when you were qualifying for the Grand Prix, and now you're only one of the last three players into the field for the worlds? What gives? Hard to say. Numbers aren't good, down nearer 87 than 88, less than ideal. Could just be having a real bad year. Results certainly indicate that - Martijn lost his opening game in the UK Open to Jason Heaver, but in his other major appearance he was able to upset Nathan Aspinall and get through to round two before losing to Matt Campbell, so maybe that first game is going to give him a bit of confidence back? We've got to hope in relation to that. He only played Aspinall through being the #62 seed, pretty much through failing to get any real traction on the floor, odd given his name was made in the BDO from cleaning up on the floor all over the place before his switch to the PDC. It's been in fits and starts - losing five to open the season, then three board finals, little bit of a lull then a season best of a quarter and a board win to finish two events later, then we get to half way and he goes on a 10-15 record for the remainder of the season. In context, if he's struggling, Kleermaker didn't have an awful Euro Tour season, making five events, beating Mario Vandenbogaerde before losing to Cross, beating Bialecki before losing to de Sousa, then losing to Jansen, Rydz and David Evans in the final three. He's struggling, but fortunately this looks like a perfect first round matchup.

I know next to nothing about Han. Data is really, really limited, and he's got here through finishing as the runner up in the China Premier League, whatever that is, after the winner opted not to play with some sort of restriction bullshit. He finished with an average of 75 in the final, losing 11-6, which might have been a bit of an unfortunate game - the guy he played looks good, averaging 89 through their whole season, which is very solid given next to no help, but Han managed to average 81, again in a lower quality round of opposition, but this isn't looking ideal. If this was Zong, I might be interested, but it isn't, so I'm not, can't see Kleermaker messing this one up.

Chris Dobey's the final player we're going to talk about, and he's had a decent season, landing in the top twenty in scoring and getting through a third major semi final in Dortmund, getting a landmark opening round win over MvG, then pushing on to defeat de Sousa and Chisnall before coming up one break short against Ross Smith in the semi final. That wouldn't be his only good TV showing, as he had a nice outing in Leicester with a win over Luke Humphries and then holding his nerve in a deciding leg against Adrian Lewis, before being on the receiving end of a clinic against van Gerwen in the quarters. Other TV tournaments were misfortune (drawing Smith in the UK Open), choking (losing a huge lead to Cross in the Matchplay), and then standard things (beating Nentjes then losing to Schindler at Minehead). Europe was fairly mediocre, only getting into the third round once and qualifying less than half the time, hence why he ended up with van Gerwen in the first round anyway. Floor was better, while not making any finals, it was a case of real steady accumulation, hitting two semis, two quarters and a further five board wins. This looks like a super favourable draw, projecting to beat Kleermaker more than 80% of the time, should be a comfortable welcome to the tournament type of game, then the tournament proper can begin with a potential round three game against Gary Anderson.

Bets tomorrow lunchtime.

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