Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson recorded comprehensive whitewash victories on the opening day of the U.S Masters, as 21-year-old Canadian Dawson Murschell caused one of the biggest shocks in World Series history to stun James Wade, on a dramatic day of action at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas on Friday evening.
Michael van Gerwen produced a finishing masterclass to kick off his campaign with a whitewash victory over a helpless Chris White. ‘The Green Machine’ was in rampant mood; averaging 104.86, converting 67% of his double attempts and sealing the win with a sublime 132 checkout (Bull, Bull, D16).
Dawson Murschell caused one of the biggest upsets in World Series history to dump out James Wade in a dramatic last-leg decider. ‘The Machine’ was only competing in Las Vegas after Phil Taylor withdrew through illness, but he spurned six match darts in a dramatic decider to gift the 21-year-old Canadian the biggest win of his career.
Murschell made a strong start to surge into a 3-1 lead, but the eight-time major winner reeled off three successive legs to seize command. However, ‘Awesome Dawson’ continued to battle valiantly and capitalised on an incredible six missed match darts from Wade in the decider, to triumph with an 81.27 average.
Gary Anderson produced an imperious display to whitewash Jayson Barlow in the evening’s final match. The two-time world champion was in ruthless mood; posting a 102.48 average; crashing in two maximums and converting 55% of his attempts at double, to set up another World Series clash against Raymond van Barneveld.
Earlier in the day, Van Barneveld held off a spirited fightback from former BDO World Championship participant David Cameron. The five-time world champion eased into a 3-0 lead, but Cameron fought back brilliantly; reeling off three straight legs to level up proceedings at three apiece.
Cameron then fired in maximums in each of the next two legs to pressure the Dutchman, but Van Barneveld stood firm. He pegged D8 to edge back ahead, before converting a nerveless 96 kill en route to closing out a 6-3 victory, with an 88.80 average and a 35% checkout conversion rate.
UK Open winner Peter Wright survived a minor scare as he battled past Shawn Brenneman. The American made a confident start and established a 3-1 advantage, but Snakebite reeled off five legs in succession to round off a 6-3 victory with his eighth match dart; averaging a modest 86.51 and converting just 26% of his double attempts.
Daryl Gurney enjoyed a fine World Series debut; reeling off four consecutive legs to ease past America’s Dennis Sayre 6-2. ‘Super-Chin’ struggled on the doubles in the early stages; posting a 27% checkout success rate. Nevertheless, he scored superbly; averaging 98.58 and piling in six maximums to book a last eight showdown against Peter Wright.
However, Max Hopp’s World Series debut ended in disappointment, as the former World-Youth champion was dumped out by North American Championship finalist Dave Richardson. Richardson was agonisingly edged out in a deciding leg by Willard Bruguier Jr in Thursday’s final, but bounced back superbly to triumph against the German ace.
Hopp averaged 89.67 and landed two maximums, but Richardson’s clinical finishing was the decisive factor. The Scottish-born Canadian averaged 92.01, posted the solitary maximum but crucially dispatched 60% of his attempts at double, to set up a second-round tie against a certain Michael van Gerwen.
Elsewhere, Gerwyn Price survived a scare as he edged out North American Championship winner Willard Bruguier Jr 6-4 in a scrappy affair. Bruguier established an early 3-1 lead but missed doubles cost the home favourite, as the UK Open finalist won five of the final six legs to prevail with an 85.54 average and three maximums.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Friday July 14 (12pm local time, 8pm BST)
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Dennis Sayre
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Willard Bruguier
Dave Richardson 6-3 Max Hopp
Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 David Cameron
Dawson Murschell 6-5 James Wade
Peter Wright 6-3 Shawn Brenneman
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Chris White
Gary Anderson 6-0 Jayson Barlow
Best of 11 legs