Keegan Brown won his first ever senior PDC Pro Tour event in Coventry today, after beating Adrian Lewis 6-3 in a thrilling final. Keegan averaged 111.72, hitting 4 180’s and 11 140’s in a phenomenal scoring display which overwhelmed the two-time World Champion.
The 22-year-old, from Newport, Isle of Wight, came through an extremely tough set of fixtures to claim the £10,000 prize money. He beat former BDO World Finalist Alan Norris 6-4 in round one, before comprehensively beating fellow young stars Jamie Lewis and Ricky Evans, 6-2 and 6-1 respectively.
Brown beat Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 in the last 16 stage, before beating yesterday’s winner Peter Wright 6-4 in the quarter-finals, to set up a last four meeting with another Scot John Henderson. The match began in scrappy fashion, with both men averaging in the low 80’s, but Brown showed his class and produced a stunning 11-dart leg to break for 5-4, before closing out the match with another sub-15 dart leg, to set up a final with Jackpot.
Keegan began in perfect fashion, hitting a brilliant 130 finish for a 12-darter. He then repeated the feat in the third leg, but Lewis kept the pressure on, with a 14-darter for 2-2. Keegan managed to establish a 4-2 lead as Lewis’ scoring wavered, but the Stokie quickly reduced the arrears, by instantly breaking back.
With the momentum appearing to switch in Lewis’s favour, Brown hit a fantastic 177 to set up D14, which he subsequently hit to re-establish his two leg advantage.He showed absolutely no sign of nerves whatsoever when throwing for the match, leaving 36 after 9 darts. He missed 3 match darts initially, but Lewis was some distance back, allowing Keegan to pin D18 for a memorable victory.
Credit must also go to the likes of Lewis, van Gerwen, Wright and James Wade, who all enjoyed excellent weekends. Van Gerwen won the first of this weekend’s triple headers on Friday, beating James Wade 6-5 in a pulsating final, despite the Machine posting a perfect 9-dart leg in the final.
Wade once again reached the final on Saturday and again lost in cruel circumstances. Wade led 5-4, but Wright’s scoring was incredible. He averaged 110 and hit 8 180’s, which helped him to secure victory. Lewis had endured a disappointing weekend up until now, but he was close to securing his fourth Pro Tour title of 2015, but Keegan Brown was simply in unrelenting mood.
Keegan rose to prominence last year after winning the World Youth Championships at the O2 Arena. He defeated the mercurial Austrian Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4, which guaranteed him a place in the Grand Slam of Darts and the World Championships.
He reached the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam, defeating Adrian Lewis 5-1 in the group phase, before memorably defeating five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld 10-7. He came agonisingly close to reaching the semis, losing 16-14 to eventual finalist Dave Chisnall in a classic contest. Keegan led 8-2 at one stage, but Chisnall launched an astonishing comeback.
However, the 22-year-old is clearly unfazed by the big occasion. He reached the second-round of the Worlds at Ally Pally, where Lewis exacted his revenge for his Grand Slam disappointment. Nevertheless, Keegan won many admirers with a fantastic display, and had beaten three-time World Champ John Part in the tournament opener.
This Pro-Tour win should ensure Keegan a place in all this year’s major tournaments; something that his performances certainly merit. The new breed of youngsters who continue to emerge through the Youth Tour are predominantly powerful scorers, but Brown has the complete package. He is a very heavy scorer, but he also possesses great maturity for a player of relative inexperience. He is a clinical finisher and his timing, which we saw throughout the Grand Slam and the World Championships, is impeccable.
Keegan, who was ranked 48th prior to this weekend’s Pro Tour triple header, should move up to 41st in the world and he is closing in on a top 32 spot. Competing in more of this year’s televised tournaments will be fantastic experience for him, whilst also giving him the opportunity of making further strides up the world rankings.
To average 112 in a final against a two-time World Champion signifies great ability, as well as tremendous character. If he can replicate this form more regularly in 2015, he will be a major contender in every event. I’m sure this title will be the first of many. Congratulations Keegan Brown!