Nathan Aspinall was seen as one of the outsiders for the title prior to the tournament. The losing finalist of this year’s Premier League had to deal with Scott Waites in the first round and escaped elimination. In a very even game, in which both darters managed to post a break, a decisive leg had to ensure the winner. ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ missed five arrows for the match, after which ‘The Asp’ with his fifth arrow was effective.
Anderson wakes up on time
For Gary Anderson, the tournament started against Keegan Brown and after a weak start, ‘The Flying Scotsman’ seemed on its way to a major defeat. At the break he was already 1-4 behind and with the knowledge that six legs had to be won, the number thirteen of the PDC Order of Merit had to work hard.
However, the few minutes of rest seemed to have mainly done Anderson well. The Scot managed to raise his level considerably, while ‘The Needle’ could no longer follow. The backlog was soon cleared and Anderson then thundered over Brown. With, among other things, two finishes above 100, he managed to win 6-4. In the five legs after the break, Brown only got two arrows on the double, but was unable to use them.
Wright wins after a delicious pot
In the first round of the Players Championship Finals, Peter Wright took on Ryan Meikle, a favorable draw for the reigning world champion on paper. In practice, however, it turned out to be a completely different story, because the 24-year-old Englishman was able to offer a good match to ‘Snakebite’. With an average of more than 101, he managed to force a decisive leg, but in the end Wright was far too strong. The Scot was also able to produce a perfect score, because he did not miss a single arrow on the double throughout the match.
Price convinces again
Gerwyn Price has shown to be in excellent shape almost all year round and he did that against John Henderson. ‘The Iceman’ immediately managed to provide a break in the first leg and was especially convincing in his own afterwards. In the legs that Price started, ‘Highlander’ did not get a single arrow on the double. The Scot managed to take two of his own legs, but could not do anything about the fact that Price convincingly won 6-2.
Series of victories De Sousa continues
With the Grand Slam of Darts in your pocket, it would be an understatement to say Jose de Sousa is in good shape. The Portuguese immediately showed that against Mike de Decker, because after two excellent legs he already had a 2-0 lead. ‘The Real Deal’ came back just as well to 2-2, but De Sousa made sure that he took the break with a lead.
De Decker then made an excellent return to the oche with a 106 finish. De Sousa took the lead again, however, and he did not relinquish it. ‘The Special One’ eventually managed to win 6-3 and will now have to take on Vincent van der Voort in the second round.