BDO World Number 1 Glen Durrant secured his first major BDO title as he eased past veteran American Larry Butler to win the Winmau World Masters in Hull.
Duzza defied TEN 180’s from Butler to record a fantastic 7-3 victory in sets, with a 93.22 average. Durrant’s exemplary finishing was the decisive factor. He posted an extremely impressive checkout ratio of 56%, hitting 14 doubles from just 25 attempts.
Earlier in the day, Durrant overcame defending World Masters Champion Martin Phillips in a high-quality quarter-final. Phillips had defeated Durrant in the semi-final stage of last year’s event, but the Teesider posted a phenomenal 104.93 en route to a 3-1 victory.
Durrant then won through to the final in comprehensive fashion, by coming from 1-0 down to thrash Switzerland’s Thomas Junghans 5-1. Junghans, who reached the quarter-finals of this competition in 2012, started strongly and won the opening set with a 66 finish.
However, Durrant grew in to the contest and his consistently heavy scoring overwhelmed his opponent, who had earned a surprise 3-1 victory over Jamie Hughes in the quarter-finals.
Although Butler will be disappointed with his final defeat, he has enjoyed a phenomenal week, having qualified for next month’s Grand Slam of Darts, alongside former Lakeside Champion Andy Fordham last Tuesday. The 1994 World Matchplay Champion also came through a number of matches on Thursday just to reach the last 32 stage of this tournament.
He defeated Rene David, Barry Zander, David Glenn and Dennis Harbour to set up a last 32 clash against reigning World Champion Scott Mitchell. He defeated Mitchell 3-2 on Friday evening, before easing past Madus Razma 3-0 in the last 16. Butler then defeated a rejuvenated Scott Waites 3-1 to reach the last four.
His semi-final against fellow veteran Martin Adams was a pulsating affair. Adams stormed into a 2-0 lead; but 58-year-old Butler remained unperturbed. After Wolfie missed darts to edge 3-1 ahead, the American capitalised and levelled up the contest, before opening up a 4-2 advantage in sets.
However, Butler missed match darts in the seventh and eighth sets and Adams produced a stunning 121 finish on the bull en route to restoring parity. The ninth and deciding set was enthralling; Adams missed 3 darts to break and Butler took full advantage of this reprieve with a clinical 90 checkout.
Butler missed 2 more match darts in the following leg, allowing the 3-time Lakeside winner to force a last-leg decider. Both men showed their experience and produced tremendous scoring legs in the decider, but Butler had the advantage of throw and finally secured victory with a stunning 13-darter.
It was certainly an intriguing match-up in the final. Durrant was the hot favourite, although the pressure of appearing in his first BDO major final was a mitigating factor, whereas Butler would no doubt relish his ‘underdog’ status.
Despite this, the BDO World Number 1 showed no signs of nerves in the opening exchanges, as he raced into a two-set lead, courtesy of a nerveless 116 checkout. He also had opportunities to forge 3-0 ahead, but he missed three clear darts at double, allowing Butler to convert D1 to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
The next two sets were shared and Durrant led 3-2 heading into the first interval, despite the veteran American having hit eight 180s in just twelve legs. However, Durrant had displayed tremendous composure to maintain his lead in spite of Butler’s relentless flurry of maximum hitting.
The interval break certainly seemed to benefit the Middlesbrough man, who continued to be a model of consistency. In contrast, Butler’s explosive scoring began to subside and the gruelling week appeared to be catching up with him.
Durrant won the next four legs without reply to move into a commanding 5-2 lead and he continued his clinical finishing by posting a delightful 102 checkout.
Butler halted his losing streak moments later, with a quite brilliant 81 checkout and an 11-darter. The ‘Bald Eagle’ had an opportunity to steal the set with a 120 finish in the following leg, but he narrowly missed D20, enabling Durrant to hit D3 with his final dart, to move one set away from a landmark victory.
To his immense credit, Butler displayed admirable tenacity to fight back and claim the ninth set with consummate ease, although his mini-revival was short lived. Durrant sealed victory in the tenth set, by posting D8 for a 15-darter, to spark jubilant and emotional celebrations from a very deserving Champion.
Elsewhere, in the women’s draw, Aileen De Graaf survived several match darts as she edged past World Champion Lisa Ashton 5-4 in a gripping final.
The first six legs went with throw, before Ashton produced an astonishing leg; following a brilliant score of 171 with a 132 finish (Bull, Bull, D16) to break the Dutch star.
Nevertheless, Ashton then failed to convert match darts in the following leg, before De Graaf stepped in to hit 76 on the bull and regain the initiative. The former Zuiderduin Masters winner enjoyed a dominant leg on throw, and hit D8 for a 16-darter to secure her maiden World Masters title.
Winmau World Masters
Thomas Junghans 3-1 Jamie Hughes
Glen Durrant 3-1 Martin Phillips
Martin Adams 3-1 Pip Blackwell
Larry Butler 3-1 Scott Waites
Thomas Junghans 1-5 Glen Durrant
Martin Adams 4-5 Larry Butler
Glen Durrant 7-3 Larry Butler
Aileen De Graaf 4-3 Deta Hedman
Lisa Ashton 4-1 Fallon Sherrock
Aileen De Graaf 5-4 Lisa Ashton