Dutch Darts Masters: Round One Report & Results

Whitlock glasses
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

New-Look Simon Whitlock began his Dutch Darts Masters campaign with a comfortable 6-2 victory over exciting Belgian star Mike De Decker, as ‘The Wizard’ sported glasses on the big stage for the very first time in Venray.

Whitlock, who won this title back in 2012, averaged 90.55 as he took advantage of a nervous De Decker, to set up a thrilling second-round tie against world number 12 Ian White tomorrow.

Whitlock showed glimpses of real quality, but struggled to sustain a high-level throughout. However, the Australian grew in confidence as he closed in on victory and sealed his progression to round-two with a superb 12-darter, rounded off with a clinical 102 checkout.

De Decker struggled for fluency, averaging just 83 in a disappointing afternoon. His young compatriot Dimitri van den Bergh also endured a frustrating afternoon, as he missed four match darts to defeat John Henderson in a scrappy contest. van den Bergh led 3-0 at one stage, but missed darts at D20 and D10 in the decider, enabling the Scot to sneak through.

One of the stars of the opening day was Jamie Lewis, who whitewashed Germany’s Andree Welge 6-0 on Friday afternoon. Jamie posted three maximums, took out a magnificent 146 checkout and averaged 98 en route to dismantling his opponent.

Former world champion Stephen Bunting also eased through to round-two with a whitewash victory, over Greece’s John Michael. Michael posted a miserly average of 72, and ‘The Bullet’ took full advantage of his opponent’s deficiencies, posting a solid 95 average en route to an emphatic victory.

However, in terms of averages, the performance of the day was produced by Mark Webster, who averaged 100.92 in a 6-2 rout of Jermaine Wattimena. The turning point came in the fourth leg, when Wattimena bust 60 by hitting T20, allowing the former Lakeside champion to open up a two-leg cushion.

The quick-fire Dutchman continued to battle away, but Webster was in merciless form and closed out victory with a tremendous 12-darter in the eighth and final leg. Webster faces another Dutchman, Benito van de Pas, in round-two and on the basis of that performance, ‘Spider’ will take some stopping this weekend.

Former world finalist Kevin Painter came through a topsy-turvy tie against Jamie Caven in the evening session’s opening match. Painter led 4-1 at one stage, before Caven rallied and restored parity at 4-4. Six of the final seven legs went against throw, with Painter sealing victory in the decider with a clinical 64 checkout for a break of throw in 14 darts.

Mervyn King prevailed in a clash of the veterans as he defeated Ronnie Baxter 6-3 in the evening session. Baxter led 3-2 at one stage, but Mervyn upped the ante in the decisive stage of the match; winning the last four legs without reply, and boasting an impressive average of 96.

Elsewhere, Daryl Gurney posted an incredible six 180’s as he came back from 3-1 down to defeat Germany’s Jyhan Artut in an intriguing first-round clash. Artut took out finishes of 104 and 82 to seize the early initiative, but Gurney fought back superbly with a flurry of maximums, to set up a second-round tie against his fellow countryman Brendan Dolan.

Devon Petersen edged out ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans in a thrilling tie to set up a second-round match against fifth seed Kim Huybrechts. Evans won the opening leg, but ‘The Spartan’ reeled off three consecutive legs to establish a 3-1 advantage with an average in excess of 105.

However, Evans fought back admirably and forced a last-leg decider, thanks to two separate 127 finishes, both culminating on the bullseye. Ricky had the advantage of throw in the decider, but Petersen threw magnificently when it mattered, posting his third maximum before converting an 87 finish on D5 for a 12-dart break of throw.

Rowby-John Rodriguez came through a tight first-round tussle against Robbie Green in the Venray on Friday afternoon. Green led 3-1 and 4-2 at one stage, before Rowby reeled off four legs in succession, to set up an enticing second-round tie against his compatriot and darts-control team-mate Mensur Suljovic.

Nevertheless, former Lakeside semi-finalist Jan Dekker suffered an early exit, losing 6-3 to Welshman Kevin Thomas on home soil. Dekker, who defeated Raymond van Barneveld to qualify for the opening tour event of 2016, averaged just 79.74 as ‘The Undertaker’ claimed the spoils in an attritional battle.

Gerwyn Price became the third Welshman to account for a Dutchman on the opening day, by defeating Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3. After enduring some double trouble in the opening exchanges, Price found his range and threatened a nine-darter at one stage, before completing the win to set up a second-round clash against Michael Smith on Saturday.

However, one Dutchman who did prosper was Remco van Eijden, who came through an extremely tight tussle against Paul Milford, to set up a second-round clash against two-time world champion Adrian Lewis. van Eijden averaged just over 90 as he came through a nail-biting last leg decider in the second match of the afternoon session.

James Richardson also prevailed courtesy of a last-leg decider, as ‘Ruthless’ came from 4-1 down to stun Austria’s Zoran Lerchbacher. Lerchbacher was in complete command but Richardson fought back superbly, hitting four maximums and surviving one match dart to set up a last 32 clash against nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins.

Ryan Harrington enjoyed a fine European Tour debut, as he claimed the scalp of David Pallett in the opening round. Harrington, the son of PDC director and former World Matchplay winner Rod, surged into a 3-0 lead, before Pallett converted 88 and 76 finishes to remain in touch.

However, Harrington eventually clinched a 6-4 victory on D5 with his sixth match dart, to set up a second-round tie against eight-time major winner and world number five, James Wade.

Another European Tour debutant Ritchie Edhouse, sealed his place in Sunday’s last 16 stage by beating Martin Schindler. Edhouse posted three maximums and took out a fine 114 finish en route to claiming a 6-4 victory. Edhouse now has a bye to the last 16, after World Grand-Prix champion Robert Thornton pulled out of this event through illness.

Dutch Darts Masters – European Tour Event One
Friday February 12
First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)

Zoran Lerchbacher 5-6 James Richardson
Ritchie Edhouse 6-4 Martin Schindler
Paul Milford 5-6 Remco van Eijden
Andree Welge 0-6 Jamie Lewis
Kevin Thomas 6-3 Jan Dekker
Dimitri Van den Bergh 5-6 John Henderson
Mike De Decker 2-6 Simon Whitlock
Robbie Green 4-6 Rowby-John Rodriguez

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Kevin Painter 6-5 Jamie Caven
Jyhan Artut 5-6 Daryl Gurney
Ryan Harrington 6-4 David Pallett
John Michael 0-6 Stephen Bunting
Dirk van Duijvenbode 3-6 Gerwyn Price
Mervyn King 6-3 Ronnie Baxter
Mark Webster 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena
Ricky Evans 5-6 Devon Petersen

Saturday February 13
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)

Justin Pipe (16) v Jamie Lewis
Terry Jenkins (11) v James Richardson
Brendan Dolan (14) v Daryl Gurney
Mensur Suljovic (15) v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Ian White (7) v Simon Whitlock
Dave Chisnall (8) v Kevin Thomas
James Wade (4) v Ryan Harrington

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Jelle Klaasen (10) v Kevin Painter
Kim Huybrechts (5) v Devon Petersen
Michael Smith (2) v Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen (1) v John Henderson
Gary Anderson (12) v Mervyn King
Benito van de Pas (13) v Mark Webster
Adrian Lewis (6) v Remco van Eijden
Peter Wright (3) v Stephen Bunting

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