2019 Austrian Darts Open – Day One Report!

Raymond van Barneveld set up a second-round showdown with home hero Mensur Suljovic at the Austrian Darts Open, as former world champions Steve Beaton, Stephen Bunting and Mark Webster all prevailed on an entertaining opening day in Graz.

Van Barneveld enjoyed a run to the last 16 of last week’s German Darts Open and he kicked off this weekend’s event with an emphatic 6-1 win over Mark Wilson. The five-time world champion wasn’t at his best, but still converted finishes of 76 and 81 to triumph with an 87.44 average and set up a Saturday showdown against Suljovic.

Elsewhere, Steve Beaton, who landed a stunning nine-darter in Saarbrucken last weekend, defeated Mark Barilli 6-3 in his opener to set up a meeting with Michael Smith in round-two. ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ won the opening three legs before Barilli levelled, but Beaton rallied to seal his progression with an 88.47 average.

Stephen Bunting continued his resurgence with a hard-fought victory over qualifier Patrick van Den Boogard. ‘The Bullet’ reached his first Pro Tour final since October 2017 in Barnsley on Wednesday, but was forced to fend off a late fightback from the Dutchman to prevail with an 87.20 average.

Mark Webster enjoyed a welcome return to European Tour action as he breezed past Dirk van Duijvenbode. The enigmatic Dutchman struggled throughout, but Webster produced a couple of fine finishes; taking out 120 and 130 en route to a 6-1 victory, where he averaged 87.61.

UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall maintained his fine form with a resounding 6-2 success over Kim Huybrechts. There was little to separate the pair in terms of averages, but ‘The Asp’ converted 55% of his attempts at double, while Huybrechts squandered nine of his 11 darts at double.

Chris Dobey survived NINE match darts as he edged out former UK Open semi-finalist Andrew Gilding in a dramatic affair. Gilding was averaging over 100 for much of the contest as he led 5-3, but he spurned a multitude of opportunities to cross the finishing line and Dobey capitalised, to set up a second round tie against Peter Wright.

Keegan Brown produced a devastating display of scoring to defeat Conan Whitehead in the tournament’s curtain-raiser. The former World Youth champion rattled in EIGHT maximums in just ten legs, averaging 96.59 to defeat Whitehead 6-4 and book a showdown with Max Hopp for a place in round-three.

Former European Tour winner Mervyn King will play nine-time major winner James Wade in the second round after battling past South African World Cup star Devon Petersen. King claimed the game’s solitary break of throw with a 12-darter in leg three, as he progressed with an 89.31 average and four maximums.

Darius Labanauskas produced the performance of the opening day to thrash host nation qualifier Michael Rasztovits 6-1. ‘Lucky D’ averaged 103.98, posted three maximums and converted two ton-plus checkouts to book a second-round meeting with 15th seed Ricky Evans.

Premier League contenders Steve Lennon and John Henderson sealed their spots in round-two after overcoming Jamie Bain and Ross Smith. Lennon will face top seed Michael van Gerwen after cruising past Bain 6-1, while Henderson battled past Smith in a scrappy affair as he prepares to face Gerwyn Price on Saturday evening.

Ryan Searle will take on two-time world champion Adrian Lewis for a place in Sunday’s last 16 after easing past an off-colour Diogo Portela on Friday evening. Elsewhere, Russian World Cup star Boris Koltsov impressed as he edged out Johan Engstrom in a last-leg decider.

However, it was a tough day for the Austrian contingent. Dietmar Burger and Patrick Tringler were beaten by Tytus Kanik and Jamie Hughes, whilst Benjamin Fasching was thrashed 6-1 by Players Championship 14 winner Jeffrey de Zwaan in the final match of the evening.

Photo Credit: Sven Neuschäfer/PDC Europe

2019 Austrian Darts Open
Schedule of Play
Friday May 3
First Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)    

Keegan Brown 6-4 Conan Whitehead
Boris Koltsov 6-5 Johan Engstrøm
Steve Lennon 6-1 Jamie Bain
Tytus Kanik 6-2 Dietmar Burger
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Patrick van den Boogaard
John Henderson 6-4 Ross Smith
Darius Labanauskas 6-1 Michael Rasztovits
Mark Webster 6-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Steve Beaton 6-3 Mark Barilli 
Chris Dobey 6-5 Andrew Gilding 
Ryan Searle 6-1 Diogo Portela 
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Kim Huybrechts 
Jamie Hughes 6-3 Patrick Tringler
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Mark Wilson
Mervyn King 6-4 Devon Petersen
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-1 Banjamin Fasching

Saturday May 4
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Ricky Evans v Darius Labanauskas
Joe Cullen v Mark Webster
Michael Smith v Steve Beaton
Daryl Gurney v Boris Koltsov
Dave Chisnall v Nathan Aspinall
Jonny Clayton v Tytus Kanik
Adrian Lewis v Ryan Searle
Darren Webster v Stephen Bunting

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Gerwyn Price v John Henderson
Rob Cross v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Peter Wright v Chris Dobey
Michael van Gerwen v Steve Lennon
James Wade v Mervyn King
Mensur Suljovic v Raymond Van Barneveld
Ian White v Jamie Hughes
Max Hopp v Keegan Brown

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