Jeffrey De Zwaan came agonisingly close to hitting a perfect 9-darter on the opening day of the European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelfingen, as he beat Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-3 to set up a last 32 clash against Mervyn King.
The ‘Black Cobra’, who is mentored by Raymond van Barneveld, hit SEVEN 180’s in just 9 legs en route to an impressive victory. The 19-year-old’s scoring was relentless; reflected by his first 9 dart average of 120 and Rodriguez, a quarter-finalist in Innsbruck last month, was unable to cope with Jeffrey’s incredible scoring power.
Below is the video of Jeffrey’s incredible 9-dart attempt…
Elsewhere, Raymond van Barneveld also progressed through to the second round in Germany, posting a 100.76 average in a 6-3 victory over Johnny Haines. Barney will face Brendan Dolan for a place in the last 16 tomorrow afternoon; the Dutchman’s game looked in good shape throughout.
Stephen Bunting won a repeat of the 2014 Lakeside Final, edging out Alan Norris 6-4 in the penultimate encounter of Friday’s marathon double-session. Norris led 2-1, but Bunting claimed 4 out of the next 5 legs to close in on victory.
Norris then delivered a stunning 161 finish to reduce the arrears to 5-4; but the Bullet secured the win via D16, to record his fifth successive triumph over ‘Chuck’.
Dean Winstanley claimed his first victory on the European Tour in 2015, posting a phenomenal 11-darter in the deciding leg of his battle against Devon Petersen. It was a scrappy affair, but the former Lakeside finalist showed his class under immense pressure in that final leg.
World Grand-Prix semi-finalists Mensur Suljovic and Mark Webster continued their fine form, beating Mark Barilli and Stephen Willard respectively. However, both men have extremely difficult second round ties. Suljovic faces the ominous task of playing Michael van Gerwen, whereas Mark Webster will meet fellow left-hander James Wade.
It was a miserable day for the host nation players; as all four German stars suffered first-round exits. Germany’s biggest prospect Max Hopp was edged out by Gerwyn Price, who defied a partisan crowd to recover from 5-3 down to secure victory. Hopp missed three match darts and his profligacy was punished by the Welshman.
Jyhan Artut was beaten 6-3 by European Tour debutant Lee Evans, whilst Stefan Stoyke suffered a narrow 6-4 defeat at the hands of Jamie Caven. In the final match of the evening session, Kevin Munch suffered a 6-0 whitewash at the hands of Jonny Clayton.
David Pallett, a semi-finalist in the European Darts Matchplay last month, hit five 180’s as he edged out his best friend Ricky Evans 6-4. It was a quick-fire contest, but Pallett’s greater consistency proved decisive.
In the opening match of the tournament, former BDO man Robbie Green was dispatched 6-1 by Mickey Mansell. Green had been showing some great form on the tour recently, having recovered from a recurring shoulder problem, but Kong was considerably below-par against the Northern Irishman.
Joe Cullen and Steve Beaton were both comfortable victors in their respective first-round clashes. Cullen beat Antonio Alcinas 6-3 to set up an enthralling second round clash against Dave Chisnall, whilst Beaton overcame Mark Walsh by the same score line, winning the final four legs against the Hertfordshire man.
Jermaine Wattimena and Dave Ladley won nail-biting last leg deciders on the opening day. Ladley was leading experienced Swede Magnus Caris 5-2, but ‘Poker Face’ reeled off three consecutive legs and victory was on the cards.
Nevertheless, Ladley took out 96 for victory in sensational style, (S20, D20, D18) with Caris poised on 60 for the match.
Meanwhile, Wattimena recovered from 5-2 down to beat the stuttering Robert Marijanovic. The Croatian appeared in cruise control of the contest, but the Dutchman demonstrated great character to produce a brilliant comeback.
This means there will be a total of SEVEN Dutch players in the last 32 of the tournament, as Van Barneveld, De Zwaan and Wattimena join van Gerwen, van der Voort, Klaasen and van de Pas in the second-round. Despite this, Wattimena will have to significantly improve tomorrow, as he takes on Peter Wright for a last 16 berth.
Below is the schedule for Saturday’s marathon double-session….
Saturday October 17- European Darts Grand Prix
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Brendan Dolan (8) v Raymond van Barneveld
Terry Jenkins (12) v Lee Evans
Mervyn King (16) v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Justin Pipe (10) v Steve Beaton
Kim Huybrechts (7) v Dave Ladley
Ian White (5) v Mickey Mansell
Benito van de Pas (15) v Gerwyn Price
Jelle Klaasen (11) v David Pallett
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Dave Chisnall (9) v Joe Cullen
James Wade (3) v Mark Webster
Simon Whitlock (14) v Jamie Caven
Michael Smith (2) v Dean Winstanley
Robert Thornton (6) v Jonny Clayton
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Mensur Suljovic
Vincent van der Voort (13) v Stephen Bunting
Peter Wright (4) v Jermaine Wattimena